YP Letters: Fracking is an opportunity for our region

From: Lorraine Allanson, Rains Farm Holidays, Allerston, Pickering.

Does Brexit and the need for energy security justify the need for fracking in Ryedale?
Does Brexit and the need for energy security justify the need for fracking in Ryedale?

I MUST congratulate Samuel Ribsansky on his very reasoned article regarding shale gas, the Northern economy and the importance of the UK’s energy security as we head into Brexit (The Yorkshire Post, July 17).

One point that Mr Ribsansky made was that he would have ‘expected the Brexit-voting regions to have assumed a more favourable attitude towards fracking’. Just because a tiny minority travel the country protesting against shale gas, it does not mean they have a mandate to represent the communities they descend upon.

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Many people with ambition, aspiration and common sense do favour shale gas in the North. We would welcome a safe, well-regulated shale gas industry.

The gas companies are paused, with billions to invest into the UK economy at a time when it is essential that the UK develops its own industries to create jobs, business opportunities and tax revenue as we head into Brexit. Stable energy supplies and affordable energy are imperative for our country to be successful. What a golden opportunity for our rural communities.

In the Vale of Pickering, we have been living with the gas industry for many decades. Our experience shows that their well sites can be completely screened and the industry can work discreetly alongside farming and tourism. Yes, there will be challenges with shale gas development, but with commercial development will come investment by the companies into ways to reduce and mitigate their impact.

What kind of society ignores the real issues of rural deprivation, fuel poverty and a lack of opportunity? Too many people have a “chocolate box” image of the countryside, and do not understand the issues of that beset our rural communities.

The recent Commission for Social Mobility report found that in terms of deprivation indices, “poverty in rural England was as bad, if not worse, than it was in the inner cities”.

Rural residents inevitably pay more for their energy and their transport costs. Ryedale, which potentially is sitting on huge gas reserves, ranks 240 out of 324 regions for social mobility. It is also one of the worst areas for earning the living wage in the whole country. Our young people move away, never to return. With shale gas comes the incredible opportunity to positively transform the lives of many, not just in our rural communities but in our county and our country.

From: David Cragg-James. Stonegrave, York.

BLAND statements of the need to frack are not proof, particularly when offset by myriad inconvenient truthful evidence Samuel Ribansky ignores, just as he denies by ignoring Government claims that fracking is not needed for energy security.

His excusing those who fear earthquakes of the charge of scaremongering is little more than a sop designed to mask via apparent reasonableness his real agenda. He seeks to confuse those who have not looked closely at the subject, enlisting them to his point of view, which conceals the oft-stated reality – this is that within the current economic model, energy investment should, by government-led example, be directed away from new fossil fuel development to the renewable industries including tidal power. The intention seems to be to mislead rather than clarify.

From: Anne Stewart, Helmsley.

SAMUEL Ribansky says that the “environmental benefits are indisputable” when it comes to fracking. Oh yes. Well it is a ‘fact’ that many experts dispute.

A tale of two rail stations

From: Elizabeth J Peacock JP, Former Batley & Spen MP, Wakefield.

I RECENTLY booked my usual trains from Wakefield to King’s Cross, and then King’s Cross to Wakefield the following day, for return.

When I printed off the details, I found that LNER had booked my return to Wakefield Kirkgate – a station I never use as it is an unmanned station and no taxis available!

I sent an email immediately pointing out the error and received a helpful reply confirming that LNER were aware that I had booked my return train to Wakefield Westgate and gave me a telephone number to ring for the matter to be resolved.

I rang the suggested number and waited 10 minutes for a reply only to be told by the unhelpful young man that he couldn’t help as I had booked on line but he could put me through to someone who could help.

After he put me through to this other number, I waited 12 minutes for a reply only to be told in no uncertain terms that the young lady could not help as I had booked online and probably booked the wrong station for return! She suggested the only way to resolve the matter was for me to book another ticket!

I did point out that I had been booking trains on this line for the past 24 years and always checked carefully what I was booking – however she insisted that I would need to book another ticket, at my expense, of course!

Is this now the future for travellers booking online and wishing to travel between Wakefield Westgate and London King’s Cross?

From: Roger Backhouse, Orchard Road, Upper Poppleton, York.

SO our privatised rail companies blame crews taking time off to watch football for train delays and cancellations (The Yorkshire Post, July 16). What will they think of next?

As Britain defeated Germany in the 1966 World Cup, I was on a train hearing results from a fellow passenger’s transistor radio. I’d have thought that a far more important match than France versus Croatia. There were no trains cancelled due to crew unavailability.

But those were the days of a nationalised railway. Such is the “progress” due to privatisation.