Reader’s letters - Wednesday November 05, 2014

Workmen take a break from building the Empire State Building but are they quicker than Lancashire's road builders

Workmen take a break from building the Empire State Building but are they quicker than Lancashire's road builders

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State of our road building

Last week I was watching a documentary on the building of the Empire State Building in New York.

It took six months to erect the steel infrastructure and 13 months for the building to be completed.

Every contractor was under no elusion that if he didn’t meet the stringent timescales his contract stipulated strict penalty clauses would be enforced massively reducing their profits.

Twenty-four hour, seven day working was the norm. Compare this to the upgrade of the Chain House Lane junction in Whitestake.

The widening of approximately 200 yards of carriageway is going is taking the same time as the erection of the steel infrastructure of the Empire State building!

No twenty-four hour, seven day a week working for Lancashire County Council workers, but it doesn’t matter it’s only the ratepayers of Lancashire who are grossly inconvenienced by the council inability to write and project manage a small road widening scheme.

One hopes the rest of the road improvement to Golden Way etc. are contracted in a more efficient manner. Drivers don’t hold your breath.

Bernard Darbyshire, via e-mail

Traffic answers lie along road

It was interesting to read Mr Caunce’s letter of October 31 concerning traffic management in Guernsey.

I had expressed such views to a friend 24 hours earlier on how Jersey likewise control their heavy volume of traffic in that at their ‘Hotspots’ they have mini roundabouts with clear Signs stating” Filter in Turn”.

These would be ideal for the Lune Street, Chapel Street, Mount Street, Corporation Street, Butler Street, Railway Station exits into Fishergate. I visited Jersey several times in the last ten years and hired a car there on each occasion. For an Island just nine miles by five miles with many upmarket cars it is a pleasure to drive around; also many of the cars are left open topped because of the low crime rate.

Even the busy approach to Jersey Airport is controlled adequately by these mini roundabouts and an Island speed limit of 30 mph.

My only reservations with this suggestion for Preston centre is that the mini roundabouts needs to be small enough to enable a bus to pass eg the size of the roundabout where Marshall’s Brow Penwortham meets Leyland Road is a good example.

My second reservation is the “sharing aspect” I travelled down Fishergate at 4pm on a Penwortham bound no 3 bus last Thursday and realised how smooth it was for the bus to cruise straight down Fishergate to the railway station.

The worry is that pedestrians only have different coloured road tiles across all the above mentioned junctions. With no pelican crossings or lights it really is a lottery when to cross safely.

The motorist has to be doubly alert to spot which pedestrians are on the move. Jersey has solved the danger by making the exact shopping centre of St Helier fully pedestrianised and only the outer area of town open to vehicles.

Upon a visit to Liverpool One last week I appreciated the full pedestrianisation of the shopping area but on the perimeter of the shops there are four lanes of traffic each way, very, very wide pavements but the safety of traffic light junctions.

Woebetide you if you try to cross without the little green man signal. It was enlightening to see how Liverpool had developed , no wonder it was a European Capital of Culture.

True they had much more centre space than Preston but if our city planners cannot visit the Channel Islands to solve Preston’s dilemma I recommend they aspire to Liverpool’s solutions.

William Still, Penwortham

Taxing issue for our politicians

Oh dear, David Cameron has received an unexpected bill. Why did his housekeeper George not let him know about it?

Perhaps they now know how ordinary people feel who have experienced bailing out the capitalist system over the past few years.

In both cases it will not be Government that will be picking up the pieces, but the general public.

For all Cameron’s huffing and puffing about it, if we are to believe Kenneth Clark, a former Chancellor, apart from shaving a few bob off the sum, we will have to stump up most of the demand.

Or we could ask some drug barons or brothel keepers to make a contribution.

Denis Lee, Ashton

Health care has been first class

We are presently swamped continually with complaints about the NHS and its shortcomings in the media.

I should like to relate my recent experiences of the care I have received recently in an attempt to redress the balance.

After a nasty fall with profuse bleeding to the head on a Sunday night I was taken by ambulance to the RLI, and treated with the utmost professionalism and kindness – and very promptly too. Within 45 minutes of admission I was discharged.

This is undoubtedly an excellent standard of care. Secondly, I have recently completed a 12-week Active Health Scheme at Lancaster University’s Sports Centre, carefully supervised and monitored by a very amiable and knowledgeable physiotherapist. My GP had referred me to this initiative, jointly provided by Lancaster City Council and the NHS.

This has had many other benefits apart from those of the exercise, including enhanced mobility, greater self-esteem and physical independence.

I am continuing with regular gym sessions. Lastly, I attended Morecambe’s Victoria Hospital for blood tests, and again the standard of care and professionalism was superb.

And the icing on the cake was the excellent cafe there – it was not the usual, naff and expensive high-street chain, but run by the WRVS. The cake, home-baked I suspect, was delicious and our drinks were actually served in china mugs. So thank you to all those who have looked after me. Being ill hereabouts is not always as black as it is painted.

Michael Nunn, Lancaster