I read with interest and not a little despair Jim Walker’s letter (Follow Staveley’s example, LEP Letters January 19), concerning the supposed advantages of a bypass round a village – viz Broughton, though the example he offered was of the village of Staveley in Cumbria.
It was a pretty tale our scribe wove: a village under siege from the infernal combustion engine; a protracted fight by the locals to secure and ensure the peace and quiet of their village by proposing a relief road to take Lake District-bound traffic around, rather than through, their humble plot; eventual victory and a return to their rustic idyll in the South Lakes.
What’s not to like?
Well, rather a lot, in truth.
The template of Staveley as the perfect example of a bypass curing all ills, as it were, is peculiar to Staveley.
Broughton’s problems, though still springing from traffic issues, could logically and sensibly be solved by the creation of the much hoped-for and, indeed much espoused Junction 32A, north of the original Preston Bypass, better known as the M6 motorway.
Way back in the day, it was the most obvious solution to me and, I suspect, T.C. Mits esq. – aka The Common Man in the Street.
Hence the question – When is a bypass not a bypass?
Answer: When the Highways Agency say it ain’t.
Thus, the M6 isn’t a bypass, even though it really is.
So, the less obvious but more lucrative option is to make a new bypass, 2km long and prime for ribbon development.
If I was inclined to feel cynical, I would opine that a motorway slip-road offers no such benefits and, as such, that particular idea was always on a hiding to nothing.
Taking the opposing view to Jim Walker, I could regale the reader with two cautionary tales concerning the flip-side of a new bypass, one in the Fylde, one on the Welsh coast. This latter in particular is scarcely half a kilometre in length.
It skirts the village of Llanbedr by less than 100m and, whilst bringing a tranquillity of sorts back to the residents, it put paid to their local store-cum-filling station-cum-outdoor supplies shop very effectively, and, within the space of two years, the business was starved of the passing custom that was now bypassing this 24/7 “goldmine”.
I was privy to a similar scenario closer to home, but space forbids me from boring you with the details.
Needless to say, any projected bypass is a double-edged sword and should not be welcomed with open arms.
While Jim Walker’s missive was ‘garnished’ with a ‘rogue’s gallery’ of three grinning officials holding up the first sod like it was a scalp, the worst fears that Broughton will soon become just another borough of our city – very likely with no shops to call their own – have been realised.
Yet again we sacrifice precious green-belt to a machine we lavish more time and money on than we do our own children.
Yes, I despair.
Bad move for 999 services
I woke up this morning to the announcement that the government intends to transfer the control of, not only the police, but the fire and ambulance services to the police commissioners.
I trust that this will require the ‘commissioner’ to have the qualifications and expertise to address this all-encompassing role and that he/she will be independent of any political affiliations?
Here in Lancashire we have a police commissioner who is an ex-milkman!
And a chairman of the Combined Fire Authority who is an ex-bus conductor/inspector.
‘Why should Lancashire and England tremble’?!
A very concerned ex-firefighter
Tragic result of broken service
News that a report showing the NHS 111 hotline is unsafe for seriously ill children sent shivers down my spine.
It is a parent’s worse nightmare that their child should fall dangerously sick and we all pray that the NHS will be there to deliver a first-class life saving service.
But it is clear from the William Mead case, reported this week, that our health service let him down badly with fatal results.
And the catalogue of errors began with the 111 hotline which is manned by call advisors.
They are described as ‘highly trained’ .
Unfortunately that training just involves box ticking.
They are not clinicians and it is plain, as Williams’s heartbroken mum said, that this service is broken.
The project is all about saving money when the priority should be about saving lives.
The government must act to provide a service that is fit for purpose.
Sadly, I am afraid this tragedy seemed inevitable.
I only hope that the government makes the urgent changes required to improve the system, otherwise I fear that another family will suffer the same appalling loss.
Louise Bours, North West UKIP MEP and party health spokesman
Remember PNE ‘pigeon man’?
I know I have no right to ask for help after Mr Ashton and I allowed the Titanic to sink (LEP Letters, January 11), but ask I must.
I was approached by an old friend the other day who asked when I had first gone to see PNE at Deepdale.
It was just after the war.
He then asked if I recalled a man who sat on the touchline with a basket of pigeons that he released one by one when a goal was scored.
Total blank, but he was adamant.
Does anyone recall him?
The only man I remember was the one who toured the ground selling razor blades!
That would go down well these days!
I think in later years he moved on to biros.
Makes me wonder if Frank is winding me up?
Allan Fazackerley via email