YP Letters: Revive routes and remove need for HS2

From: Mr JA King, Thurgoland, Sheffield.

Should the railway from Sheffield to london be upgraded?

PLEASE forgive me for thinking that trains should be there to serve the general public and therefore giving benefit to the maximum possible users – both passengers and freight.

The West Coast and East Coast main lines have both been upgraded. Therefore, to give maximum benefit and increased passenger capacity for this country, the Midland main line should also be upgraded, which takes us to Sheffield.

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The next step would be to reuse the existing (old track) to Manchester, where most of the infrastructure is still in place. There is already a branch line to Huddersfield and then on to Bradford.

With this in place, it would increase the mobility of the masses and greatly increase the benefit of the Northern Powerhouse. There would then be no need for the money-draining HS2.

Area is a green asset

From: Roderick Beardshall, Knox Lane, Harrogate.

THANK you for your balanced article published “Row over Gorge campaign claims” (The Yorkshire Post, March 13).

Councillor Don Mackenzie regularly highlights that the Nidd Gorge is narrow and will not be the site of a new road. I believe him, but using this as a counter-argument to a petition to save the area appears to badly misunderstand the concerns of thousands of people who love the area, both local and from elsewhere, and who believe that it cannot be reduced to the sum of its parts.

Any new road would threaten the tranquillity of a much-loved and much used green space on the very edge of Bilton. It is especially important because the urban area is acknowledged as being underprovided for in terms of green space.

This area comprises the Gorge, the Nidderdale Greenway (a spectacular recent success story) and Bilton Fields, which have been enriched by years of hard work by Bilton Conservation Group. The area needs to be considered as a whole and left undisturbed.

To believe that the character of the area would not be destroyed by putting a road anywhere through it is an absurdly reductionist view of our environment and one which should have no place in a modern planning process.

Support for lecturers

From: Diane Dillon, Hellfield.

MY son is a first year under-graduate at Hull University, where his lecturers, like many others up and down the country, are currently on strike over proposed changes to their pensions.

Along with many other students, my son has joined his lecturers in solidarity on the picket line every day. In order to facilitate an atmosphere where discussion and questioning of ideas is promoted, we surely need lecturers who feel valued and can look forward to a secure retirement. Many lecturers across our universities are on insecure contracts. Surely we should not be making their retirement insecure too?

In fact this strike has made me question the whole marketisation of our universities which has been happening over the past 20-30 years.

My son’s lecturers are kind, inspiring and illuminate the subjects he is studying in an interesting way. I am a 52-year-old housewife with seven CSEs. I did not go to university but I recognise that we should support the lecturers in their current actions.

Facts needed on tree cull

From: Derek Patch, Coverdale Close, Leyburn.

AS a retired arboriculturist, I empathise with the residents of Sheffield who are trying to stem the extensive and apparently financially driven destruction of the city’s street trees.

The reasons given for the removals could be levelled in part or wholly at most urban street trees, but we need details.

For example, what are the diseases affecting the trees, are they threatening the life of the tree, a threat to the integrity and safety of the tree, or simply disfiguring? This information would allow justification for the proposed fellings to be evaluated.

Where felling has, or is to take place, we are told replanting will be undertaken. What measures are being adopted to minimise a future generation of Sheffield’s residents having to confront similar destruction of this new tree cover? Without precautions being implemented at the tree planting stage, e.g. root barriers, or reconstruction of the pavements with designed and in-built resistance to tree root activity, history can be expected to repeat itself and the current suite of problems will recur.

That would not be a testimonial for our good stewardship of the urban environment.

We should be aiming to pass on the environment, whether urban or rural, in a better condition than we inherited it.

Sad loss to cricket fans

From: Peter Keighley, Leeds.

WE learned this week (The Yorkshire Post, March 14) of the passing of BBC Radio Leeds cricket commentator Dave Callaghan following a heart attack, aged 63.

What a huge shock this will have been to many people in and outside the Broad Acres of Yorkshire.

He was a consummate professional.

I had the pleasure of meeting “Cally” on numerous occasions and he was the same person 
off mic as he was on – kind, cheery, never had a bad word 
to say and admired and 
respected by all his peers as well as those he helped to entertain over many years.