Readers’ letters - December 2

A reader says the highways authority spent millions on 20mph areas ' which could have helped reduced the budget deficit. See letter
A reader says the highways authority spent millions on 20mph areas ' which could have helped reduced the budget deficit. See letter
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Plenty of money wasted

I wonder if I’m alone in thinking the proposed county council cuts are really not that bad?

Most councils have branch libraries, originally opened in suburbs where few people could get to the town centre and before the wide access to information over the internet.

It’s a privileged amount of provision for suburban residents, compared with rural residents who already have to travel miles by private car – and pay to park – to reach a library, and is an unfair distribution of resources.

I’ll be sorry if the Judges’ Lodgings museum closes.

I’ve tried several times over the past 10 years to visit this museum in ordinary business hours, but have never discovered it open, so I’d like to have the chance to see around it before it shuts!

Very few rural areas have bus services – mine certainly doesn’t.

The ones that do would probably find a minibus leasing scheme more cost-effective than public bus services.

A typical UK bus journey costs more for a single fare (let alone the subsidies) than driving the same distance flat out in a Bugatti Veyron would cost in petrol (look up the stats and do the maths).

And as for the highways authority! It has wasted millions on pointless 20mph areas.

Some of these in Greater Manchester have been associated with increased accidents – probably due to drivers losing concentration, along with the will to live, as they crawl along at speeds normally only experienced by funeral directors.

Two in Garstang, having been established at great expense, have had to be taken out due to pressure from residents who never wanted them in the first place.

Other examples of waste include a double mini-roundabout at an offset crossroads in Dolphinholme.

Official guidance says mini-roundabouts should be “considered” where traffic volumes exceed 500 vehicles an hour. Dolphinholme doesn’t have 500 a day.

There’s another pointless one on Lancaster Road, in Garstang, at what should just be a junction for two residential streets.

Mini-roundabouts in Lancashire appear to be make-work schemes for mini-roundabout-building firms.

There are plenty of other examples.

The highways department of Lancashire CC appears to be a deliberate contrivance for squandering money.

I’d rather the money currently wasted by Lancashire County Council went on reducing the national budget deficit, frankly.

Richard Austen-Baker, address supplied

Bombing will make it worse

The Prime Minister is hoping to persuade Parliament to back his policy of increasing our current bombing of Isis forces in Iraq, extended to Syria.

This will somehow reduce terrorist activities in our country.

We bombed Afghanistan at the behest of George Bush, with his claim that Bin Laden could run but not hide.

He hid for 10 years, security forces ‘took him out’, not bombs.

Drone strikes and peripheral damage, have, if anything, increased radicalisation, both in this country and abroad.

Although much ridiculed, Jeremy Corbyn makes the point, will this policy improve things or make them worse?

Recall Tony Blair shaking hands with Gaddafi a few years before David Cameron followed his example of the war in Iraq, by a similar policy in Libya.

Can anyone honestly claim that we improved the stability of the Middle East with our interference in their affairs?

I hope the thud of bombs does not turn into the thud of boots of our military personnel, taxed with needless sacrifice.

Denis Lee, Ashton

Where’s our democracy?

The statement that a final decision on fracking will be taken by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, irrespective of the decision by the pending appeal in February, is nothing short of an affront to democracy (LEP November 27).

We, the public, are fully aware that the government is fully committed to fracking and so the consultation process is closing.

Where does this leave Lancashire County Council?

If they go ahead with the appeals process, they will be subjected to a barrage of criticism that they are wasting public money when we are in a period of acute austerity.

My main concern is that by allowing one person to flout the decisions made by elected members of the local authorities in the area concerned, this is a step towards the corporate/ fascist state.

Terry Bayes via email

Little guy won’t beat the big guy

I read in the Post that the final word on fracking will go to the Secretary for State, that nice Greg Clark. Would anyone like to guess what he will decide?

Anything that is contentious will always be allowed a public stage.

You will have free speech, the right to demonstrate, and, ultimately, the right to do as you are told.

We have seen it all, motorways, airport runways, the closure of factories and plants.

I hope I am wrong, but anyone who believes the lovely notion of the little guy beating the big guy is living in the wrong country.

I hope for a miracle. Never seen one yet!

Allan Fazackerley via email

Retractable dog leads are a risk

Re: the cyclist injured by a dog lead (LEP November 27).

There appeared to be the suggestion that the cyclist was on a pavement?

If this was the case, the question next is: Was this an official shared pathway? Or was it an illegal use of the pavement?

I do agree about these long leads causing accidents as I have been tripped up by one. And the owner seemed to think it was I who was at fault! I would like these leads banned.

Name and address supplied