Reader’s letters, Tuesday’s letters July 21 2015

One of the visions for Preston's Bus Station, including a Youth Zone
One of the visions for Preston's Bus Station, including a Youth Zone
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Short-sighted use of hub

Wow, really (LEP July 17)!

I find it difficult to get excited about the short-sighted use of one of Central Lancashire’s main transport hubs, a use that seems to be based on the convenient use of land and funding rather than inspirational urban planning.

Personally, I have no particular problem with a Youth Zone or the designs.

But throughout the north of England we are seeing Youth Zones pop up in the same way we see city centre multiplex cinemas being built.

Therefore it could be fair to say we are being peddled off the shelf regeneration concepts rather than what Preston and central Lancashire really needs.

If councillors Jennifer Mein and Peter Rankin believe central Lancashire can come together and compete with the major northern cities, then look at what they are attempting to do.

n £15bn infrastructure investment to connect the ‘great’ northern cities

n Manchester extending itself into East Lancashire with a new rail link

n Manchester extending and improving its tram system

n And London looking at a 
£1.3 trillion infrastructure investment

Our infrastructure investment seems to be purely based on laying tarmac.

Where is our inspired thinking – tramways, light rail services and improved bus services?

For example, both Preston and Lancashire councils have suggested the bus station is in the wrong place because it’s not next to the train station, yet it is well connected to the north, south, east and west of Preston and beyond. We only need a shuttle bus or tram to connect the two via Fishergate, Corporation Street, the university, Friargate and the Ringway.

Let’s not waste a great 
transport hub for today’s conveniences.

There are far better sites for a Youth Zone than in the middle of our retail and commercial heart.

Let’s think and behave like a major city rather than copy what our contemporary towns and cities do because eventually we will not be able to differentiate ourselves from a Blackburn, Bolton or Wigan.

One of the great sights of the 1970s and 80s was seeing dozens of buses pulling out of their bays, white and blue on one side and green and red on the other.

Who’s to say that in the very near future we are not going to need a 80-bay bus station feeding Preston, its new suburbs, South Ribble, Chorley, Wyre, Fylde and the Ribble Valley?

Michael at the Carbuncle

Meet the needs of young people

As Preston’s youth officer for 21 years, I am concerned that there has been sufficient account taken of the staffing needed for our Youth Zone.

It would be good to think that there will be enough trained and experienced qualified staff employed who will be given the supervision and support necessary.

Does the selecting panel have someone with practical youth work experience who can explain the dynamics of work with young people in relation to the size and structure of the buildings being considered? The appointment of staff, the security of their posts and, above all, the motivation and enthusiasm to work with young people will determine the ‘success’ of the project.

Meeting the needs of young people should always be the starting point when it comes to selecting the best building for Preston.

Pete Johnstone, Preston

Only the richest will be helped

Now that the Chancellor of the Exchequer has delivered the first Conservative budget for 19 years, I wonder if he can still sleep at night after looking after nobody except the very rich.

The change in inheritance tax will only help the richest. And it goes on.

Roger M Dobson via email

Tim Farron will lead fightback

Tim Farron is the new leader for the Liberal Democrats.

He was brought up in a terraced house in Preston by his single mum who struggled to put food on the table.

Perhaps he should have been Labour, but he saw them as part of the system.

His political awakening was seeing the film Cathy Come Home.

A docudrama about a young family descending into homelessness.

From that moment he wanted to change people’s lives and make a difference. You get involved in politics to get stuff done.

Only now, following the Queen’s Speech and the budget, is it becoming clearer what a difference the Liberal Democrats made in government. Now the Conservatives want to scrap the Human Rights Act, flog housing association homes, and hit the most vulnerable the hardest.

Despite our crushing defeat in May, over 17,000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats since the election.

It is game on for the Liberal Democrats to start winning again and it is a Preston lad who will lead the Lib Dem fightback.

Mark Jewell, Chairman, Preston and Wyre Liberal Democrats

Keep this cycling inspiration

I write in support of the two recent letters published in the LEP with regard to the Guild Wheel (LEP July 16 and LEP July 20).

The Guild Wheel has been a tremendous success since its opening in 2012 and continues to encourage cyclists of all abilities to get on their bikes.

It is vital that the safety of the Guild Wheel is not compromised by the introduction of new road infrastructure and housing developments and, as such, I urge Lancashire County Council to ensure that this award winning route continues to be a great cycling inspiration for everyone.

Robert McDougall via email

System needs to be foolproof

Re: Hest Bank near-miss rail incident (LEP July 17), a mistake on the railways can be fatal.

Three workers were killed last year. Workers need a foolproof safety system.

one more guild via LEP website