YP Letters: Investment needed in Hull station '“ MPs make direct appeal to rail firm

From: Diana Johnson, Alan Johnson and Karl Turner, Members of Parliament, Hull.

FirstGroup have been criticised for mvoes to shut waiting rooms and toilets at Hull Station during the City of Culture.

THIS is an open letter that Hull’s three MPs have sent to FirstGroup chief executive Jim O’Toole.

We are writing to you regarding the facilities at the Hull Paragon Interchange, which are managed by the FirstGroup subsidiary TransPennine Express.

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In recent days, two notices have been placed in the interchange, stating that the waiting rooms close at 7pm each night and the toilets close at 6.45pm. The notices displayed state that this is due to anti-social behaviour.

We find it unfortunate that at a time when Hull is celebrating our status as UK City of Culture 2017, with 342,000 visitors to the city in the first week of the year, the station manager has resorted to closing key parts of the station in the early evening due to anti-social behaviour.

Rather than cause such inconvenience to passengers, would it not be better to work with the British Transport Police to deal with these incidents in the first place and to deter further such behaviour?

While appreciating that policing resources are stretched across Hull, following funding cuts made since 2010, it is unacceptable if the message is going out that the security of such a key site in the city as Hull Station cannot be guaranteed by the police and station management without closing basic station amenities so early.

We are also aware that the button-operated disabled access door to the customer service centre is not working. Constituents have also approached us to raise concerns about a leak on the roof of the station, which has sadly caused some people to slip on the wet floor.

During questions on the floor of the House of Commons on May 11 2016, the previous Prime Minister promised that some £1.4m would be invested in the Hull Interchange in advance of City of Culture year.

However, in answer to a written Parliamentary question, we have since been told that TransPennine Express will be spending this money on the station in 2017/18 – much later than the Prime Minister promised.

It is unfortunate that this situation is occurring soon after the Transport Secretary refused a privately-backed bid to electrify the rail line from Hull to Selby and while investment goes into transport infrastructure on a large scale elsewhere in the country.

In such an historic year for our city, we would be grateful if you would take immediate action to deal with the anti-social behaviour issues and restore proper opening hours to the toilets and waiting area at Hull Station.

We would also appreciate details of how the promised investment will be used 
most effectively to achieve a modern and safe Hull Station, with decent facilities that 
are available at all the hours passengers need them, and 
what the timetable is for 
making these improvements.

We look forward to your reply.

Tackling Sir Bernard

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

BERNARD Ingham is always a good read if only, or, should I 
say, perhaps only for his brilliant use of the English language. Only old “rugger” people and Americans call the world’s best-loved game “soccer” (The Yorkshire Post, January 25).

He can’t help aligning the “bloated thespians who prance around our football fields” with the fat cats on “eight-digit” salaries.

Even his entirely reasonable suggestion that players might contribute to enabling “fathers to take their sons to matches” shows how out of touch he is.

The mother and daughter who sit next to me in the stand of a Championship club are not remarkable.

Even if Bernard Ingham only watched “soccer” on television, he would have noticed the huge numbers of female fans.

Yes, some footballers’ wages are obscene – and, as professionals in all senses of the word they will do what they can to get an edge.

However, they have a short career and, make no mistake, Premier League players would not be in the most sought-after league in the world without extraordinary talent, sacrifice and dedication.

Potholes go ignored

From: DS Boyes, Leeds.

THE glib response from Leeds Council of reporting ‘potholes’ on the internet is typical of the contempt which Labour councillors have for those who pay their wages. Not everyone is online and the backlog of un-repaired holes is substantial.

Even when potholes are obvious, it is council policy to ignore them: for example Bagley Lane, Farsley, has numerous holes which the council must be aware of, as every other bit of road surface is covered by recently-installed speed humps!

Railing from the posh seats

From: Stewart Wright, Doncaster.

I AM still watching Alan Bennett’s Diaries; however I can’t help noticing his constant criticism of anything right of centre – the Thatcher government, the award of the East Coast Line to Virgin.

He then accuses Virgin of extracting our last pennies but travels back to Leeds first class.

No doubt Sir Richard Branson has some way to go to get your last penny, Alan.

Rough it with the working class Alan, come and join us.

Gas bill

From: David Cragg-James, Stonegrave, York.

HOW can the production of more gas via fracking not lead to the consumption of more gas?

How can this new industry be justified morally?

When will enough of us say “No”?