Readers' letters - July 3

The Duke of Cambridge during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, as part of his tour of the Middle EastThe Duke of Cambridge during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, as part of his tour of the Middle East
The Duke of Cambridge during a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City, as part of his tour of the Middle East
Prince William does a better job than Boris

With regard to the recent tour of the Middle East by Prince William, I have been struck by the dignity and sensitivity he showed when talking to politicians and religious leaders, visiting sites important to all three religions, the tomb of his great grandmother and somewhere as sensitive as Yad Vashem.

He warmed to the youngsters playing football at Jaffa, reaching out to them as others are not always able to do. His formal addresses did not shirk the problems of the region but one felt that he was sincerely concerned to do what he could to address them.

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His visit could be a lesson to many of our politicians and especially to our current Foreign Secretary, showing how diplomacy works.

Regarding Boris Johnson, Great Britain deserves a strong and persuasive representative not a comedy turn.

Perhaps we should offer Prince William the job!

Dr Sheila Hopkinson

via email


Reason for training

I refer to Neil Swindlehurst’s letter (LP Letters, July 2).

Northern’s excuses for the debacle are quite misleading.

They claimed that 400 drivers needed training on the Preston to Blackpool North route.

This has been clarified since and the 400 is across the whole of Northern’s network.

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Neil’s question about the need for training will, I think, seem a good one to the uninitiated.

However, the need to train rail drivers is of high importance. Yes, the train runs on rails and they change directions at sets of points.

Each set is guarded by a signal and in some cases there is what, in railway speak, is called a feather.

This indicates which way the points are set.

So if a driver does not know the road, how does he know he/she is going the right way?

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A simple question but think back only a few weeks when a Newcastle to Reading train was reported as ending up in Pontefract.

Drivers need to know where every signal is, the speed limits of the route, the positioning of platforms, braking distances, gradients, where passing loops are.

They also need to know where they are in case of an emergency and need to know all this in daylight, darkness and fog.

So drivers and train managers are required to learn the route and sign that they know it.

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West Coast Railway’s drivers will know the route they are driving.

If they do not, they can ask for someone to conduct or pilot them over that route.

Rest assured that all drivers will know the route wherever they are.

If they don’t, they are in breach of regulations.

At one time, if a driver hadn’t been over a route for several months, he was required to refresh he knowledge and re-sign for it.

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Learning the route is a lengthy business, even going to Blackpool.

The drivers may attend the Route Learning School, which again signifies the hugely important aspect of learning the road.

So whilst I am not defending Northern, I am defending their drivers and train managers because I would not like to think that a train I was travelling on at night was being driven by a driver who was ignorant of the route.

Chris Barwise



Clean the drains

To anyone walking around Brinscall, it’s obvious that if some work isn’t done on the drains, the next bout of prolonged heavy rain that falls will cause massive flooding which will upset and distress the residents who are affected.

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This could be avoided if the council did the sensible thing by making sure the drains are cleaned regularly, as they once were, rather than leaving them packed with muck so that it’s impossible for rainwater to run away as it is supposed to.

The council has the equipment and should use it.

I’m sure doing this would cost less than cleaning after flood damage.

C Astley



The Brexit bus was true ...

​It looks like the Boris Bus was true after all. Brexit is due to bring a major increase in investment into the NHS.

It is being funded by tax increases rather than stopping contributions to the EU but maybe that was in the small print on the other side of the bus....

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