Time to put railways on right track

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From: Terry Duncan, Greame Road, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.

SURELY the time has come to re-organise the railway services of this country – maybe bringing them within stringent control of the Government, including slashing the exorbitant fares and reducing them in line with what the commuter can afford, for instance, five pence a mile?

The railway service is the answer to relieving the roads of congestion.

How about a hop-on-hop-off service with a one way entry through the carriages with each – as they do in Belgium – having a strict fare collection service?

The existing operators should continue, as long as they do not milk the travellers.

Each operator should pay a rent for each line towards the upkeep of the tracks. Then, we should be able to travel from King’s Cross to Inverness for an economic £30 single.

Simple?

From: CD Round, Lee Lane East, Horsforth, Leeds.

WILL someone explain how Northern Rail (Yorkshire Post, January 5) is allowed to pay a dividend to foreign owners of £22m when they receive a Government subsidy of £339m?

In other words, the taxpayer is paying a foreign owner a gift of £22m. This seems crazy economics to me.

In fact, Northern Rail made a massive loss.

Therefore, there should be no dividend and no directors bonus, indeed a salary cut would be better economics as would happen in a normal business.

Lives wasted in futile war

From: Phil Hanson, Beechmount Close, Baildon, Shipley.

HOW much longer are we going to continue the tragic fiasco of sending our young men and women to a country and a cause that has never had a cat in hell’s chance of success?

Unlike the fools in Downing Street both past and present, I simply cannot accept that this mission will ever deliver and sure there are many others who agree, both here, in Moscow and elsewhere.

The daily news of troops dead or injured cannot be a price worth paying to prevent drugs reaching our shores nor our colonial idea of imposing democracy.

Surely, with due respect to our fine troops, it is time the people of the UK told the trigger happy incumbents of Downing Street, who will never get any closer to action than watching a Bond film, the time has come to leave Afghanistan to the natural forces and let them get on with it?

If drugs are the issue, bring the troops home and use them on the ports!

Firms must do more on data

From: Christian Toon, Head of Information Security Europe, Iron Mountain, Tooley Street, London.

THE news that Yorkshire loan firm, Cattles, has lost unencrypted tapes containing the personal details of 1.4 million people including customers and staff is deeply worrying (Yorkshire Post, December 31).

With the media jumping on every example of a high profile data breach, and the devastating impact such a breach can have on sales, brand reputation and customer trust, it is almost beyond belief that organisations are still failing to get their act together and stop such breaches from happening.

An organisation large enough to have over a million customers should have policies and guidelines in place that ensure sensitive data is encrypted, protected and accounted for at every stage of its journey through the business.

It is hardly surprising that the Information Commissioner’s Office is starting to hand out larger fines for data protection breaches.

Every business has a duty to handle the personal information with which it is entrusted with care.

Anything less is no longer acceptable.

Clarkson joke critics ‘stupid’

From: SB Oliver, Churchill Grove, Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire.

HOW right are the comments from Kenneth Wright and Trev Bromby (Yorkshire Post, January 2) about the stupid over-reaction to Jeremy Clarkson’s comments about “shooting them in front of their families”, referring to the striking public sector workers.

Hasn’t Ofcom (or the other thousands of complainants) got any trace of common sense when it comes to being able to identify a bit of straight-faced humour to everyday happenings and events?

Just where has tolerance and understanding disappeared to in the eyes of much of today’s society?

Ofcom would do a much better job if it concentrated on the more serious aspects on TV, especially the overuse of bad language in general, and by the BBC in particular.