YP Letters: Don't sacrifice countryside for a Harrogate bypass

From: Geoff Foxall, Harrogate.

What can be done to reduce congestion in towns like Harrogate?

THE latest report into traffic congestion in Harrogate has turned a road aimed at relieving congestion into a bypass.

This makes no sense if 95 per cent of Harrogate’s traffic is internally generated.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The original consultants’ report was aimed at reducing traffic congestion, particularly on Skipton Road. The brief did not mention the need to improve East-West connectivity.

In the latest report, the consultants were instructed to give a more refined location of a road in the Nidd Gorge and identify the general impact it would have on the Nidd Gorge and the Nidderdale Greenway. Again, there was no mention of East-West connectivity.

I can understand some councillors wanting to grab that slice of the cake. It may also fit in neatly with the plans being considered by the strategic body Transport for the North (TfN) which has confirmed that it is working on an appraisal of possible dual carriageway routes linking the M65 at Colne in Lancashire to the A1(M) in Yorkshire. This has been described as a “game-changer” for the county by Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry.

It is expected that the consultants’ two options – sustainable traffic measures only or road plus sustainable measures – will go out to public consultation early next year. NYCC want to consult as widely as possible and have already invited county councillors from Skipton and Ripon constituency, stretching to the Lancashire border, to express their opinions. Would the councillor for Settle care about the Nidd Gorge as much as I do – I doubt it! Our countryside is about to be sacrificed for a faster route through Yorkshire.

Rural speed limits crucial

From: Edward Grainger, Botany Way, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough.

WHEN the road safety charity Brake, the charity Cycling UK and the Department for Transport, not to mention members of the public in a survey, call for action to curb the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads of the UK, you can be sure that there is a major problem that simply must be addressed.

The conclusion and analysis of the DfT’s own figures for last year confirms that the carnage on Britain’s roads continues. Whether automatic driving bans are imposed to drivers found guilty of being responsible for causing death or serious injury is doubtful by a Government completely paralysed by Brexit.

If a blanket 20mph speed limit can be applied to roads in residential areas, then action on rural roads is equally justified, otherwise the devastation to innumerable lives will continue.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

AT long last, an overhaul of the archaic legal system and sentencing (The Yorkshire Post, November 22). Will this ensure that well-heeled, boorish drivers – speed freaks, phone clutchers etc – no longer escape condign bans, thanks to expensive loophole lawyers?

Protect elderly from scams

From: Jean Lorriman, Penistone Road, Waterloo, Huddersfield.

HUDDERSFIELD Police representatives gave a talk to the Huddersfield Over Fifties Forum (HOFF). The talk was about the increasing number of scams that the elderly are being subjected too.

The two ladies giving the talk knew their stuff and we all came away much the wiser and determind to share the knowledge and the many leaflets given out. Ironically the next day an elderly neighbour told me she had received a phone call demanding £3,000 she owed them. She wisely put the phone down immediately.

Not all older people react this way. One reason is loneliness can make the elderly more vulnerable and thus more agreeable to rip offs. Esther Rantzen, along with Age UK, has done much to prevent elderly loneliness and has now turned her attention on how the elderly are being ripped of by greedy, evil people.

Christmas is a time of goodwill and giving, but it is also a gift for those who exploit through social media, advertising, telephone and door knocking. Please make sure your family, friends and neighbours are safe this Christmas by being aware of any potential exploitation and harm.

True impact of fracking

From Coun Paul Andrews (Ind), Malton Ward, Ryedale District Council.

IN reply to your correspondent Charles Taylor, yes, we do have to get gas from somewhere.

In October 2017, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy published the report with the title “Gas Security of Supply”. The document says that there will be security of gas supply without shale gas during the forecast period – ie up until 2035. So the UK does not need gas from fracking. As regards the effect on the countryside, the fracking industry requires grids of drill pads, each two hectares in size, at a density of 10 every 38 square miles. If Mr Taylor thinks North Yorkshire should accept this level of industrialisation, he might wish to consider the impact on the amenities and values of the properties here.

Academy plea

From: Jan Williams, Knaresborough.

AS a former secondary school teacher, I was shocked to read of the possible closure of Harrogate’s Grove academy.

The Grove, fighting an 83 per cent funding cut, is one of only 10 pupil referral units nationally to have achieved three Ofsted outstanding judgements in a row. Its loss will blight the life-chances of some of our neediest children. Longer-term, this Government’s short-sighted refusal to properly fund high needs education means even more social costs in dealing with problems arising when a child, who has not been helped early enough, becomes a damaged adult.