Readers’ letters - December 16

Traffic congestion on Strand Road, Preston. A reader says it is difficult to travel around Preston by car. See letter

Traffic congestion on Strand Road, Preston. A reader says it is difficult to travel around Preston by car. See letter

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So hard to drive cars in city

Further to the letter regarding traffic problems in the city (LEP Letters December 8), I represent people whose professions depend on being able to move easily on the roads and am often amazed at what goes on in Preston.

Recently it took me over an hour to travel from Hutton roundabout to Strand Road because the road over the bridge – a major road into the city – is closed off without a word of explanation.

The other week, Tom Finney Way was blocked because of so- called roadworks, and yet no one was working on them for several days, just the road blocked without a hint of concern for the people who pay to use these roads.

If anyone stopped these inconsiderate people from getting on with their work, they would soon be dealt with by the authorities.

Any company needing to block a road should be given a time limit to have the road blocked, then be fined for every day they run over and, yes, the professor is right, it is about time other workers were compensated for the time wasted stuck unnecessarily because of others’ slackness.

These problems occur because practically any road in Preston, other than Garstang Road, London Road, New Hall Lane or Blackpool Road, is considered a so-called rat run and blocked. No, they are not. They are roads, paid for in fuel duty, council tax, and vehicle tax, for motorists to use.

People have to travel to and from their workplace, to undertake their work, and deliveries have to be made.

Vehicles must move. Let’s open up the city again, dissipate the traffic, and create alternatives for when the motorway has to be closed, roadworks need to be carried out or when we want to encourage out-of-city customers to the city centre businesses.

The answer to the Fishergate centre problem? Simply make an exit at the rear of the car park, open up the street on to Winckley Square and all the Deepdale, London Road, and Fulwood traffic could travel via Avenham and away from Fishergate.

There were more roads available in the 1960s – with fewer cars –than today’s city.

Don’t mention park and ride, as there is not one in Fulwood.

Act before gridlock is an every day occurrence and no one can work.

Tony Downing,Fulwood

Objections are frankly absurd

This autumn, a five-pence mandatory charge was introduced for single use carrier bags.

Its aim is to reduce the number of bags that end up in landfill or scattered around our streets and rivers killing wildlife and costing taxpayers millions of pounds to clean up.

In 2014, some seven billion bags were issued by supermarkets in England. These bags blight our towns and countryside. They can take hundreds of years to degrade.

Similar charges in Ireland and Wales have resulted in an 80 per cent reduction in the number of carrier bags issued. A number of European states have had similar results.

In the past month I have been told by shop employees of the numerous complaints made by shoppers on being told they had to pay 5p for a carrier bag. Some beggar belief. Here is a sample:

a) A customer was in the process of buying a computer for over £1,100. On being told he had to pay 5p for a bag, he objected strongly and walked out without the computer.

b) A lady refused to buy two dresses because of the charge.

c) An employee was abused in a supermarket by an angry customer when told that by law 5p had to be added to the bill for a bag. The groceries were replaced and the customer walked out.

To object to paying 5p in a good cause is, frankly, absurd. Years ago we all had our own bags. Is it too much to ask that we do so again? I wonder if there would be the same reaction if 5p was added to a pint of beer or a packet of cigarettes?

Dr Barry Clayton, address supplied

Bridge brought back memories

Your recent Looking Back photo of Penwortham Bridge (LEP December 1) brings back memories of my late father Jimmy Brookes, who, in the 1930s, worked for my late grandfather Henry Farrington (his father-in-law), growing a variety of vegetables on the family farm in Tarleton.

Each Thursday afternoon, between May and October, a convoy of farmers with their shire horses and four-wheeled horse drays, would set off from Tarleton (10 miles away) about 3pm, laden with their produce to sell on Preston’s Covered Market.

Arriving early evening (about 7pm), my father would park up the dray on the market, then take the horse to the stables at the rear of the Black­ A Moor Public House (which is still here today).

He would sleep with the horse, get up the next morning about 4am, feed the horse, and then go across Lancaster Road to the covered market and sell the produce from the horse dray to various stallholders and shop keepers.

My father Jimmy would then go for the horse and set off for home by 1pm, going down Fishergate Hill, then turning left at the bottom along Broadgate, and deliver to a shop before crossing the river over the Penwortham Bridge and continue his homeward journey.

I have told this story to our children (his grandchildren) many times. That’s how it got the name of “Grandad’s Bridge”.

The bridge remains the same to this day, with its original stone sets, but with a bollard at each end, preventing vehicles crossing it.

David Brookes, Tarleton

Phone call was too expensive

Recently, I was in Preston city centre and needed to make a phone call as my mobile wasn’t working, I spotted a BT telephone kiosk. The minimum charge was 60p, which I thought was excessive, but proceeded in putting my money into the machine.

I dialled the number, listened to the phone ringing before it went to the answer machine saying to leave a message after the beep. Just as it beeped, before I could leave a message, the phone died and said I had insufficient funds.

We truly do live in rip-off Britain, or in this case ‘rip-off British Telecom’. In my opinion this is immoral. It should be illegal and BT should be ashamed of itself. Talk about ‘daylight robbery’.

H Fishswinger, Ashton