Readers’ letters - February 21

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Look at the bigger picture of peak times

Having read Coun J. W. Browne’s letter, I am compelled to put my contribution forward (LP Letters, February 9).

It is my experience in the last 12 months to walk straight onto the train at Euston Station.

Yes, I have had to pass through the ticket checks at Euston prior to that but the staff have always been polite.

When we buy a ticket, we agree to the terms and conditions of the train operating company.

This entails having all travel documents and passes available.

I find it amazing how many people do not understand this, and it is not confined to travellers on the West Coast.

Virgin Trains West Coast started checking tickets at Preston station at least six months ago.

Passengers/customers using platform 1 and 2 have been subject to tickets checks for several years.

Fare dodging costs the tax payers a lot of money.

With regard to Mr Menzies MP and his comments, we need to look at the bigger picture of peak times.

Not just in railway terms, but also retail and recreation.

Last Tuesday was Valentine’s Day – the cost of flowers will have gone up until the day is past.

Mothers’ Day is about seven weeks away – the same will happen.

During school half-terms, the price of holidays goes up and then comes down.

Wait until summer and see the rapid escalation of cost.

This is something the previous Prime Minister promised to do something about.

At peak times, whenever and wherever they may be, service providers do seem to have carte blanche to charge more.

Whether distance should be a factor I don’t know.

So let the powers-that-be in Parliament do something about the big picture.

Chris Barwise

Ashton

chernobyl

Could you be a host family?

Dear Reader, some of you may remember and some may not be old enough but, in April 1986, No 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear power station (pictured) exploded and spread many thousands of tons of radioactive waste into the air.

Some 70 per cent of this ash fell on the borders of Belarus and the Ukraine.

Many thousands of people were displaced from their homes and have never returned.

In 1991, Victor Mizzi MBE founded Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline and it now has between 80 to 100 links throughout the country and these have all to be self-sufficient.

It is easy to believe that this issue was over many years ago and no longer requires the help of people in this country.

You would be wrong.

Each year we still bring as many children as possible from the still affected areas for rest, recuperation, fresh air and fresh food.

A great deal of their air is still contaminated and much of their food is still grown in contaminated soil.

I am appealing to readers to ask if they would help by hosting two children for two weeks during the summer holidays.

They will need to sleep in your home, you will need to feed them and take them to any compulsory events that we, as a link, organise during their time with you and treat them as part of your family.

This is a voluntary kindness and the reason we still do this is that the children’s immune systems have been damaged over the years.

We bring them here for four weeks (two weeks with one host family and two with another) so they get the fresh air and fresh food they need and, when they return, it appears to take approximately two years for their immune systems to return to what they were before they came here. Hopefully this will extend their lifespan.

Everything will be discussed with you and the relevant documentation and home visits will be completed long before the children arrive. There will be an interpreter with them on 24/7 call for any issues you may have, along with myself.

The children and their parents are very grateful but the bottom line is, if I cannot get enough host parents, we cannot bring the children.

If you feel you could be one of these families, please contact me immediately as time is of the essence due to having to make arrangements for flights, visas and dealing with DBS forms (which the charity pays for).

You may still be able to do this even if you work while the children are here as we all try to help each other out.

Anyone living in Preston, or an area up to 30 minutes drive away, would be more than welcome to join us.

My name is Mrs Chris Riley and I am chairman of the local Red Rose Link of the charity.

My contact number is 01772 686339 or 077 88 898 328. I hope to hear from some of you soon.

Chris Riley

Red Rose Link

traffic

Signs used are

not good enough

I have read and heard of the problems caused to motorists’ pockets by the imposition of restrictions at the end of Fishergate near to the Railway Station.

No doubt the fines handed out now represent a fruitful income stream for the city council, but surely the signing of the No Entry (for vehicles other than buses) is totally inadequate and not compliant with the Traffic Sign Regulations.

In all other areas of Preston, including the new entries to the bus station, where cars are not allowed, the official red and white No Entry signs have been erected.

Had similar signs been erected at the start of the banned area on Fishergate, I feel sure very few, if any, motorists would have ignored them.

I seriously wonder if the issuing of fixed penalty charges is indeed legal.

Arthur Roberts

via email

gratitude

Kindness of city’s people after fall

I am the lady, 80, who fell in Fishergate shopping area on Friday, February 3, and I would like to thank the kind people of Preston who stopped to give me first aid and called the ambulance. I would also like to thank Mountain Warehouse for a soft blanket. I am getting over this ordeal now and would like to thank you so much, as a stranger to your city. And thank you also to Laurie and Joe (ambulance) and Dr Heywoods’ team at the A&E of Preston Hospital for the excellent service I received.

Margaret Hutcheon

via email

traffic

Here’s the meaning of ‘Road Closed’

To the drivers who thought the numerous ‘Road Closed/Diversion’ signs on Hollins Lane over the past two weeks couldn’t possibly apply to you, thanks for giving us all a laugh watching you do three-point-turns on the narrow road and having to retrace your route. And, by the way, once the road re-opens, it will still be a 30mph limit, not 40, or 50, as some of you – possibly the same ones! – believe.

Stephanie Bruntlett

Forton