YP Letters: Public transport fails to meet public's needs

From: Denis Angood, Britannia Close, Pudsey, Leeds.

What should be done to improve public transport in Leeds and West Yorkshire?

BEN Barnett’s recent article on the proposed bus alliance made for sensible reading providing the WYCA and the operators can agree on what is needed.

Ever since the Thatcher government’s decision to deregulate local public transport, there has been a failure of the operators to concern themselves primarily with the needs of the travelling public.

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This has been demonstrated by too numerous alterations and cuts to services in order to maximise profits solely to satisfy their shareholders. The essential priority of the proposed bus alliance is to make public transport more attractive to the populace.

Without passengers, there is no demand. Without demand, supply becomes redundant. The question then is how to make it more worthwhile for the public to travel by bus or train.

Neither form of transport at present is falling anywhere near that classification for a variety of reasons, of which reliability and availability are the main contenders, with affordability running them close.

The train’s most appealing quality is that it is direct as it is unable to stray from its track.

The contradictory feature is the lack of modern and sufficient carriages to cater for demand.

Nobody, unless they live on an arterial road, can expect a bus outside their door and generally people do not mind a five or 10 minute walk to a bus stop. The problem arises when the bus does not turn up (unreliable), the cost is excessive (affordability), and the journey time is also too long (flexibility). People having to cope with those conditions will look for alternative means where possible.

The bus alliance, if it does develop beyond talking, will have many factors to analyse and discuss, never mind prioritise, before it can begin to practice what the WYCA is preaching.

Vital taste of world of work

From: Dominic Jones, Member of UK Youth Parliament for Barnsley.

THE benefits of good quality work experience to young people and their skills development can never be underestimated.

As the jobs market becomes increasingly competitive, young people need to be better prepared and ready for the challenging world of work 
which they will face.

This knowledge and understanding of the workplace can only come through good quality work experience. Last autumn, just under 16,500 young people across Yorkshire and the Humber voted for ‘Work Experience Hubs’ as their most important issue.

Work experience encourages a work-based culture, promotes punctuality and discipline, 
and creates a deeper understanding of possible careers that young people wish to go into.

Initiatives such as Barclays LifeSkills help build the skills young people need to thrive 
and prosper in later life – skills that our current education system disregards in favour of core, content-heavy subjects.

If we as a society can truly 
say that we care about young people, then we need to make them feel supported, valued and not left to worry about what life will throw at them.

Instead, the focus should be on preparing and motivating them to feel prepared as active citizens and unique people in an increasingly diverse society.

Therefore, all schools in the region should adopt an approach to facilitate good quality work experience as part of their curriculum.

Too many young people are missing out on this valuable opportunity, whether that be employer talks, shadowing, volunteering, an internship or the traditional one or two week-long placement.

Schools should play their part in equipping the younger generation to be successful and productive in the workplace, both now and in years to come.

Sentences fail to deter

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

“GROOMING gang jailed for a century” made for an emotive and eye-catching headline (The Yorkshire Post, November 17).

However, when one delves into the accompanying report, what sounds like severe deterrent sentences are nothing like as much as many of us would have wished.

Six individuals, all involved in grooming vulnerable teenage girls in Rotherham, were locked up for between 10 and 23 years. When you consider that at most they will each serve no more than half their sentences, the punishments do not seem severe at all.

Until the current totally inadequate justice system is made to be the deterrent it should be, then inadequate sentences will sadly continue to be the order of the day.

War history comes to life

From: Derrick Hall, Pontefract.

OF all the films and documentaries shown on the centenary of the Great War, one stands out for me.

They Shall Not Grow Old was an amazing piece of work, bringing to life those young men, some only 16, joining up, being trained, and finally life in the trenches.

Brought to life in colour and with a soundtrack by modern technology, this must be the nearest we will get to what it was really like. It should be shown every year.

Good news story for YP

From: Peter Hyde, Driffield.

THANK goodness my fears for The Yorkshire Post have been relieved by the new buyer, JPI Media, who have saved the day. I trust the new owners will not change the format, as some new owners tend to do, but keep the paper Yorkshire.