Letters, emails and texts on April 3 2008

Today one reader writes in to discuss Preston's poor roads. The reader said: "The motorist in this country pays through the nose for some of the worst but most expensive motoring in Europe and deserves better."

Poor roads cost motorists dear

A couple of months ago, I complained to United Utilities about the state of the surfaces following roadworks on Watling Sreet Road, Eastway, Andertons Way and Blue Bell Way over the past two years or so.

As I live off Eastway these roads are my only route to and from work, and anywhere else for that matter.

I recently took my car to a specialist garage to have my brakes done and asked them to investigate a knocking noise from steering. I was told the joints on the track control arms were worn out. On checking my service history, these items were replaced only 20,000 miles ago, and a bill of around 300 resulted.

The original BMW factory components were changed at 59,510 miles. This advanced wear and tear is the direct result of the cart-tracks these people call a road. They are a disgrace.

The motorist in this country pays through the nose for some of the worst but most expensive motoring in Europe and deserves better.

Name and address supplied

Fat chance of flying flag for Britishness

Isn't life grand! Lord Goldsmith, former Attorney General, says there should be a new public holiday to celebrate Britishness.

Chance would be a fine thing!

Another leader of opinion, Justice Minister Jack Straw, states that "society is in a much better state of repair than it was 15-20 years ago".

Pull the other one, Jack.

Baroness Scotland - the new Attorney General - wants the power to halt prosecutions on "national security grounds". Any guesses why?

And as we celebrated Commonwealth Day on March 11 the Government suggested that perhaps the "ancestry visa" should be scrapped. Such a visa allows Australians and New Zealanders to enter this country, more or less at will for a period, if they have at least one grandparent born in Britain. Those two countries, which incorporate the Union flag on their national flags, are, it seems, to have restrictions placed on them which do not apply to the likes of Romania or Finland.

As Jack Straw was saying...

Gerard Parke-Hatton, Woodplumpton Lane, Broughton

Now we have been let down on travel

Having been a ratepayer in the Preston and South Ribble area for nearly 40 years, I felt I had earned my NOW Card Concessionary Bus Travel and looked forward to the promised changes that took effect on April 1, to include the whole of England - not just the North West.

I suspect that, like myself, many others of my age were surprised to find that changes made to the rules for concessionary travel meant that I was asked to pay full fare for my journey at 8.30am today.

This is a significant change. When I look back at the leaflet that accompanied my new NOW Card, I read that "if there are any changes to the existing arrangements we will let you know".

No-one did.

Getting through to the helpline today has been impossible! Even when I used the ring-back facility, a recorded message told me the facility to call back had been temporarily withdrawn. The cowards!

How apt that these changes took effect on April Fool's Day.

HC, Ashton, via email (full name and address supplied)

Act has delivered for animal welfare

F B Latham (Letters, March 6) claims the Hunting Act has failed to deliver. In fact it has made it illegal to inflict cruelty on an animal in the name of sport.

Last month a MORI poll showed that 73% of people in the UK support the Act.

The Countryside Alliance claims that hunts do not break the law and follow a scent, not a live fox. If that is true then they are not 'traditional' but 'drag' hunts. Maybe Mr Latham should listen to those who support drag hunts who do so precisely because the cruelty has been removed.

It is untrue to say the hunting ban has damaged the rural economy - a fact which the Countryside Alliance now accepts.

Barry Hugill, League Against Cruel Sports, via email

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