YP Letters: Train drivers' frustration over rail chaos

From: Mick Whelan, General secretary, ASLEF, the train drivers' union.

Train services across the north of England remain in the spotlight.

I AM writing to support your call for the Prime Minister to ‘get a grip’ (The Yorkshire Post, June 4) on the chaos caused to passengers by the new timetable introduced by Northern Rail.

The truth is that Theresa May and the Transport Secretary, referred to by colleagues in the Conservative Party these days as ‘Failing Grayling’, are badly letting down passengers in the north of England.

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The fault lies with Mr Grayling, the Department for Transport, Network Rail and Northern Rail, which does not employ enough drivers to deliver the service it promised in its franchise application to deliver; and which started training drivers – giving drivers the route knowledge they need – far too late.

It makes a mockery of the idea of a Northern Powerhouse. The lack of investment in rail in the North is an utter disgrace; the North receives £2,555 less per person than London in rail investment each year (£1,600 per person compared with £4,155). As train drivers, and as a progressive trade union, we believe in a modern railway, fit for passengers, and staff, to help build a better Britain in the 21st century.

From: Bob Watson, Baildon.

WHAT an appalling act by the RMT union to announce three further days of strikes on Northern Rail later this month, right in the middle of the current chaos and temporary timetables (The Yorkshire Post, June 6).

If the union had much sympathy left from the public, and if they felt that they held the moral high ground, then this may well now disappear (and rightly so) after this thoughtless and mean-spirited action. They should be thoroughly ashamed.

From: Barry Foster, High Stakesby, Whitby.

SOME years ago, Chris Grayling made a dreadful decision to privatise the National Probation Service after this service had provided effective supervision on offenders in the community and on license from HM Prisons (Tom Richmond, The Yorkshire Post, June 5). Now, what do we have? The complete fiasco of the Northern Rail plus the unwanted HS2. Please, Mrs May, get rid of this man before we all get rid of your party.

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

I AGREE with most of what Jayne Dowle advocates in terms of more women being appointed to boards of directors (The Yorkshire Post, June 4). A more equal Northern Rail might have prevented the shambles of the last few days on the rail network of the North where it seems male dominance, and Chris Grayling’s ineptitude as Transport Secretary, failed comprehensively to understand that a full complement of drivers at all times was the first essential of any wholesale re-scheduling of the rail timetable.

From: Henry Cobden, Ilkley.

THANK you for exposing Northern Fail and demanding action in such a constructive manner. Very disappointed Theresa May has not responded in kind – or that Jeremy Corbyn did not focus on the issue at PMQs. How can they defend ‘Failing Grayling’?

Books unlock child’s talent

From: Chris Jowett, Infrastructure Director, Keighley and Worth Valley Preservation Society and author of cyclestories.co.uk

PARENTS have the responsibility for very young children, talking to a child from day one, sensibly and clearly, reading simple stories all helps (The Yorkshire Post, June 2). It is said that on average we learn 50 per cent of everything we will know by the age of five, and unless someone speaks to a child in an engaging way, their appetite to know will not be stimulated.

As they get older I believe that empathy with the story is a motivator to continue reading and the more that is read the greater is the understanding and being able read unlocks knowledge.

My stories for children are about bicycles and the relationship between a child and their bicycle, many children have one so empathy comes easy. I’m sure Sir Chris Hoy would appreciate a children’s story about bicycles.

Caring for the environment?

From: Keith Watts, Tyersal Avenue, Bradford.

“CARING for the environment” was the boast on the Labour party leaflet we received just before the local elections last month. A few weeks later a beautiful mature tree in the field behind Tyersal Crescent and Tyersal Avenue was felled. As yet, no planning permission has been granted to build on this field, so who gave the go-ahead for this act of vandalism? I assumed “caring for the environment” meant building on brownfield sites, not on fields.

The true cost of drug deals

From: David Treacher, Nelson Road, Hull.

THERE are drug dealers everywhere you go, whatever the town or city. The people they supply it to are sat out of their minds and do not know what day it is. Many of them are on the streets and end up either in hospital or in police care. It costs money and time when emergency services could be elsewhere.

Strike while iron is hot

From: Jarvis Browning, Main Street, Fadmoor, York.

I WISH the Opposition parties would stop backbiting over Brexit, as the majority who voted Leave were Opposition supporters. This is an all party subject. To get the best deal, we need to strike the iron while it’s hot.