Reader’s letters - Wednesday 14 May 2014

Former Alston Hall students are invited back for a reunion
Former Alston Hall students are invited back for a reunion
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U-turn makes no sense

Thirty years ago, after great debate, numerous meetings and no doubt great expense, Lancashire County Council officials decided quite sensibly that the only practical way to bypass Penwortham was to adopt the blue route starting from Longton bypass through to the Booths roundabout.

This would create a second route through to Preston for travellers coming in from the Liverpool direction. Drivers coming in from the Longton direction would still probably use the existing route along the A59, thereby halving the problem.

It would appear the money is now available to proceed, however, the current LCC incumbents have decided their predecessors made the wrong decisions totally, that they now know better, and the brown route is the way to go. The surveyors department, and associated pen pushing departments of LCC, must be rubbing their hands at the prospect of so much extra work.

Maybe somewhere among the above is the person who has the answer to Mr David Bennett’s [of the Penwortham Bypass Action Group ] question, “Who decided to change the route from blue to brown” (LEP May 5).

Surely it is obvious that all the brown route will achieve is to create another bottle neck at the Howick end of the dual carriage way and cause greater hold ups on the by-pass and Liverpool Road coming in from Longton.

As for giving a link to connect the bridge over the Ribble, dream on. Who wants to go to Blackpool anyway! And as far as a suitable new route round Preston, does the ministry of transport seriously think motorists will leave the M6 at Bamber Bridge to use such a route, then rejoin the M6 at Broughton?

The proposal is for a Penwortham bypass, it has to be just that, not a means of fuelling a pipe dream that is unlikely to ever happen. I have walked my dogs over the proposed blue route area for over 50 years, no-one appreciates or knows the area better than I . However the blue route bypass will benefit the majority in Penwortham over a minority in New Longton so be it.

If Councillor Graham Gooch genuinely feels the brown route is far more sensible than the blue route I, for one, will be putting my X somewhere else next time!

Derek Lester, Hutton

Wildlife given more support

I refer to your article,concerning the plans for 205 houses at Haydock Grange, Cottam, being given full planning approval (LEP May 2).

As a local resident, I have been lobbying hard to keep construction traffic off Hoyles Lane, a narrow country lane totally unsuitable for HGVs.

Outline permission was previously given on the basis that Taylor Wimpey provided a new primary entrance to the site on Tabley Lane. Yet the planning committee have now agreed a new Hoyles Lane entrance will be the only access for at least the first 12 months. This is simply a cost-saving exercise for Taylor Wimpey.

Sticking to the outline planning agreement would have avoided most of the construction traffic using Hoyles Lane.

Developers have the upper hand and always get what they want. It seems the local wildlife get a better deal than residents, with the swallows being given their own barn!

The decision could, and should, have been deferred to the next meeting to give committee members more time to investigate further and come to a more reasoned decision.

Why was this option not proffered at the meeting? I thank those councillors who showed commonsense and voted against the council’s recommendation.

Surely it is high time more councillors and, indeed, our city and county councils started to listen to the concerns of those residents of Preston who vote for them and pay their wages and pensions?

John Pratt, Hoyles Lane Resident

We need shops not a facelift

I read we in Penwortham are to receive a grant of £100,000 to improve shopping (LEP May 8).

Yet most of the chat seemed to be about sprucing up the shops and concern over pavement parking. If we go on much longer we may not have much to ‘spruce up’. Since my last sulk we have lost Swinton and Santander are away by the end of the month.

The children’s clothes shop is another charity shop and I’ve heard the empty Co-Op Travel will soon be a funeral parlour. Well that’s one business which cannot fail around here!

I believe the bank near Spar is going to be a tobacconists and we have happily got our fruit and veg cabin back in Priory Lane. I reckon anyone opening a small business round here is very brave and should be applauded. I hope the £100,000 is spent wisely and we do have some useful new shops.

Unlike Preston who are making a beautiful wide pedestrian way so you can gaze in peace at the closing businesses.

Allan Fazackerley, Penwortham

Head back to hall for reunion

Situated in a beautiful rural location on the outskirts of Longridge, Alston Hall is run by Lancashire County Council as an adult learning and conference centre (see photo opposite).

In the late 1960s and early 1970s this imposing Victorian mansion was run by Preston Borough Education Committee and housed a day college of further education. The student body comprised mainly teenagers, many of whom were recent school leavers who were studying for qualifications preparatory to embarking upon careers in public service including nursing, the police service, local government and the civil service.

Others were studying for examinations with a view to applying for university places. Even after over 40 years, many former students look back with great affection upon the days spent at Alston Hall and still meet up for reunions where old friendships are renewed. We are now planning for our next reunion which is to be held at Alston Hall on June 28 and we are very keen to get in touch with anyone who attended the college around the 1960s and 1970s and who might wish to attend. If any former students would like to come along to the reunion, please contact Vin Breen on 07572 163653 (text or voicemail) and I’ll be happy to provide further details.

Vin Breen, Longton