Readers’ letters - December 30

Avenham Park under water after record levels of flooding on Boxing Day. See letters
Avenham Park under water after record levels of flooding on Boxing Day. See letters
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Don’t make things worse

Now that the Ribble has returned to its banks, dare we hope that the flood waters have taken with them the crack-pot proposals made only a short time ago by local town planners to fill the farmland between Walton-le-Dale and Penwortham with yet more building development?

There are acres of derelict land and buildings in and around Preston city centre which could be used if only councils would face down building developers who want a easy ride.

We need to start employing civil engineers and environmental scientists instead of urban design consultants whose idea of the good life is a pink fountain in Wlnckley Square.

I, and all the others who live alongside the river, would quite like to go to bed at night confident that we wouldn’t wake up to find 2ft of water in the house.

I’ve had that experience once and very nearly had it again on Boxing Day.

Joan Higginson, Preston

EU directive and dredging

The floods are not solely an Act of God; the Lake District is quite accustomed to very heavy rain.

Much more responsible is the EU Water Framework Directive of 2000, which places severe restrictions on the dredging of rivers.

In its comments on the repeated flooding, the Environment Agency makes no reference to this legislation.

I wonder why not?

Arthur Quarmby,

Address supplied

Cyclists need bright lights

On a dark, damp December morning recently, I was cycling to work early, when an approaching car stopped, and the driver shouted out, sayuing “Get that light out!”

I returned the compliment and carried on my way.

What I should have said was:

n He was being somewhat hypocritical, with both HID headlamps and high-intensity foglamps lit on a clear morning (should have gone to Specsavers!), with more than 10 times the luminosity of my bicycle dynamo light.

n Having a bright front light (as well as back lights) is essential for safe cycling on dark, unrestricted, country roads to avoid potholes and debris in the road, and to illuminate the verge in order to warn fast-approaching cars of your presence, before they come hurtling around the next bend.

n If he got out of his gas-guzzling 4x4 now and again, and saved road congestion and the environment by walking or cycling, he may appreciate how dazzling many car headlamps appear to cyclists (or pedestrians), and how much light you really need to cycle safely on a dark country lane.

As a CTC member and a former Cycling Proficiency trainer, I try to be a responsible and considerate road user – avoiding obstructing other vehicles, giving ample signals before manoeuvring, and angling my front light down onto the road to avoid dazzling other road users.

I am aware that there is controversy in the cycling press about the intensity of some of the newer LED front lights, which generally cannot be dipped for on-coming traffic.

Some have suggested adopting restrictive German road regulations with regards bicycle lights.

However, cyclists are very vulnerable road users (who have as much right to use the Queen’s Highway as any other taxpayer), and some allowance should be afforded them in adopting extra safety measures.

Perhaps we should first consider banning the import of (ironically, mainly German) cars with stupidly intense HID headlamps.

Name and address supplied

Give blood in 2016 – save a life

Many people in Lancashire will be considering giving things up for the New Year, like unhealthy food or alcohol.

But you can change your life by choosing to give.

Giving blood is amazing – you can save or improve the lives of up to three people each time you donate.

We always need new donors to ensure we have the right mix of blood groups among our donors to meet patient needs in future and to replace those people who can no longer donate.

We need more than 6,000 people to donate blood every day to meet the needs of desperately ill hospital patients.

Blood and platelets are not just used after accidents.

They are used for patients with cancer, anaemia, childbirth complications, and in a wide variety of life-saving procedures.

Less than three per cent of people aged 17 to 70 donated blood last year.

Thank you to everybody who donated and helped save lives – we look forward to seeing you again in 2016.

If you’ve never given blood before, register to donate blood and book an appointment to donate in Lancashire at www.blood.co.uk.

Donating only takes an hour of your time.

So please start this year by changing not just your life, but someone else’s life too, by giving blood.

Jon Latham,

Assistant director,

Marketing and Donor Contact Service,

NHS Blood and Transplant

Thanks to all who donated

Home-Start Central Lancashire would like to thank everyone who donated toys and food this year to help local families.

This includes schools, churches, Rock FM, Tesco, Asda and BT.

More families than ever have needed a little extra help this year and we were delighted we were able to help, thanks to the generosity of local people.

The toys and food we delivered has meant that many families have had a better Christmas than they were expecting. Thank you on behalf of those families.

The toys and food were collected, sorted and delivered with the help of Home-Start volunteers who give their time to support local families.

Carole Lee, CEO