YP Letters: Scheme puts the needs of cyclists first

From: Jayne Ann Strutt, Scalby Road, Scarborough.

What more can be done to promote and enhance cycle safety?
What more can be done to promote and enhance cycle safety?

ON plans for the £3.5m transformation of the old railway line between Scarborough and Whitby, I would like to know who, apart from the bicycle lobbyists, is backing these highly dubious proposals?

Twelve months ago the public made clear their displeasure about any intention to develop this local amenity and footpath into a primary route for cyclists.

In spite of the reported consultations, these new proposals seem little more than a distraction from the real issues previously raised by favouring the needs of cyclists above those of other users.

As a regular pedestrian user of this treasured amenity, I wonder about the convenience of ‘passing places’, with those on foot having to do all the dodging.

It seems like another case of Scarborough Council pushing through deeply unpopular schemes with their mantra ‘the status quo is not an option’.

Is this just another way of dismissing dissent and pushing through a deeply unpopular scheme in a different disguise?

From: A Hague, Bellbrooke Grove, Leeds.

I READ that a new law is being made for motorists to give cyclists a one-and-a-half metre leeway when overtaking (Sharon Gladish, The Yorkshire Post, October 8). The new law gives the police powers to fine drivers who pass cyclists within this limit.

One metre is ample, and half a metre would suit me fine. Big hold-ups will be caused if this new law is enforced. Last week, a bus driver gave me less than quarter of a metre on York Street from New York Road in Leeds.. Our roads are too narrow for all this new clearance and this law needs dropping.

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

MY observations from the saddle of a bicycle, as well as being a motorist, confirm that many of the deepest potholes have been filled in North Yorkshire. However, some of the worst have still been left.

Surely, this amounts to false economy on the part of the highway authorities? Why not deal with them all at the same time?

From: Martin J Phillips, Tinshill Lane, Leeds.

LEEDS City Council recently decided that it didn’t have any funding available to update and increase the number of real-time display screens in bus shelters, yet it has still found money to waste to turn another 90 areas 
of Leeds into 20mph zones.

No doubt this will entail more money wasted on speed bumps, thus increasing levels of air pollution throughout the city and causing damage to thousands more vehicles.

Leeds City Council has already introduced cycle lanes that are so dangerous that users have to travel at less than 5 mph or risk cycling amongst the traffic on the highway.

At least we no longer hear councillors referring to Leeds as “The Capital of the North”; it isn’t even the capital of Yorkshire.

City can’t set business rate

From: Tom Stannard, Corporate Director for Regeneration and Economic Growth, Wakefield Council.

WAKEFIELD Council and the Wakefield Business Improvement District (BID) are committed to redeveloping the city and encouraging residents across the district to enjoy retail and leisure opportunities.

We are supporting economic growth in the district and have invested £350,000 into a recently completed Retail Enhancement Fund, which has supported 39 business owners in shopping areas such as Wood Street and Westgate in Wakefield as well as Gillygate in Pontefract and Sagar Street in Castleford.

In August we launched a new Retail and Residential Enhancement Fund. It offers incentives to property owners to renovate ground floor retail space and to transform upper levels to creative attractive residential accommodation.

This summer we also launched our new economic strategy. It recognises the changing retail environment and incorporates a number of regeneration and business support initiatives.

Business rates are not under the control of the council. They are based on the rateable value, which is calculated by the Government’s Valuation Office Agency, and the national rate poundage which is set annually by central Government and cannot be changed by the council.

Buggy battle for space on bus

From: Coun Tim Mickleburgh (Lab), Boulevard Avenue, Grimsby.

I AGREE with Hilary Andrews about the presence of large buggies on buses (The Yorkshire Post, October 4). In fact the space at the front they occupy is really meant for wheelchairs, with any child-carrying contraption meant to be folded up if someone in a chair comes on board.

Instead they take up the folded-up seat area, reducing the capacity for fare-paying passengers. That’s because many of these supposed buggies are in fact prams, and very difficult to be taken apart.

In the past children under a certain age travelled for nothing because they could sit on a parent’s knee, and thus not take up anyone else’s space.

So, perhaps there is logic in making people pay to take a buggy on a bus.

Wrong choice of words

From: J Lupton, Follifoot.

PLEASE note your front page heading with reference to ‘mental services’ can offend and should read ‘mental health services’ (The Yorkshire Post, October 8).

‘Mental’ used on its own is a derogatory term and has been used intending offence. Sadly it still is by some.