Readers' letters - May 9

Get road fiasco sorted out

Monday, 9th May 2016, 2:36 pm
Updated Monday, 9th May 2016, 4:40 pm
A spectacular scene from Orrest Head in Windermere, Cumbria. See letter Picture: John Siddall

After yet another fiasco with the Fishergate layout, once again our lords and masters at both County and Preston City Halls are having to scratch their heads as to how to solve the problem.

Let me start with Daniel Herbert’s comments (he being the LCC Highways network manager) about currently putting plans together to permanently stop traffic turning right from Butler Street. Those of us who scrutinise the Public Notices in the LEP will recall that some months ago a notice was posted to this effect. It would be interesting to see what, if any, responses came of that notice.

However, let us resume as to the possible solution to this problem. Currently at the top of Butler Street, there are two northbound lanes, one to turn right towards Corporation Street and the other to turn left to go down Fishergate Hill which is now just one lane over the railway bridge.

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Thus the proposal is that the right turn lane will now have to turn left, as is already the case with the left hand lane. Well, two lanes into one isn’t going to go and that will lead to ... congestion!

Er, isn’t this something that this new plan is trying to avoid?

We also have the problem of traffic coming down beautified Fishergate competing with traffic coming up the equally beautified Corporation Street and both wanting to go down Butler Street to either the Fishergate Centre car park, the multi-storey railway station car park or the pick up point for the railway station. Surely the solution is to force ALL traffic coming up Corporation Street and wanting to get to these facilities to take the underpass off Charnley Street? This would allow slightly freer movement of traffic coming down Fishergate also heading for these facilities.

At present we have just two roads to take customers coming from all points of the compass to enter these facilities and then just the one road (Butler Street) out.

The problem also is that the education of drivers as to what shared space means in terms of their driving behaviour has been sadly lacking, with drivers assuming that, as they appear to be on the ‘main road’, traffic coming from side roads such as Lune Street and Chapel Street have to give way to them.

At the bottom of Fishergate, they assume the frequently demolished concrete bollard is a mini-roundabout, so treat it as such and thus give way to traffic coming up Corporation Street, some of which is heading ... you can guess where! Then we get to the bottlenecks of bottlenecks: the top of Butler Street, where drivers who are on Fishergate Hill assume they have right of way over traffic coming out of Butler Street, because it is a ‘side road’.

The whole thing has been a disaster and those responsible for it should hang their heads in shame. In olden days, that is what would have happened before a large axe relieved their bodies of that most tiresome of objects: their tiny brains! But these days that does not happen. Indeed no one is to blame, except drivers and passengers who have the audacity to want to come and spend money in this fair city of ours. Well, we can all lie safe in our beds when we eventually get home because it will be that late, knowing that those in the East Cliff County Council Offices will have free, rapid exit from their offices which literally tower over this fiasco.

Neil Swindlehurst, Walmer Bridge

I didn’t vote for commissioner

I went to vote but I have not voted for the Crime Commissioner as I know nothing about any of the candidates other than their political allegiance. They have all been too complacent or lazy to tell us anything of their qualifications for a demanding job or their contribution to their community. In any case it is wrong in principle to link politics and law enforcement.

The two should be kept apart. All candidates should campaign as Independents. That, of course, would necessitate independent thinking. Perish the thought!

My opinion was shared by everyone in the polling station.

Joan Higginson, Preston

Memories of Orrest Head

The main photo on page 14 is a view from the top of Orrest Head in Windermere, Cumbria.

In the early 1950s, my parents and I visited the Lake District by train, like many other people at that time. I hold fond loving memories of those long summer weeks of that period.

On a visit in 1949, my father introduced me to my first hill climb in the Lakes, up Orrest Head, which is situated opposite Windermere Railway Station, off the main road to Bowness and Ambleside, and is now well signposted.

Initially it is fairly steep in places, but only takes about 40 minutes to climb to the top. The views on reaching this point is truly glorious.

Practically the whole of the Windermere Lake is visible, including the many main peaks of the Lakes all around.

Since those days, I have returned on several occasions, and have always enjoyed the view from the top.

If you have never taken the opportunity whilst visiting Windermere, I am sure you would not be disappointed to take a look, especially on a sunny day.

John Siddall, Fulwood

I was first to ride my bike on M6

I have just been reading the Lancashire Evening Post letter about the first motorway in the country (LEP Letters, April 22).

Well, this brings back memories.

You see, I was the very first member of the public to ride on the country’s first motorway.

Of course, it was unofficial as it was on a Sunday. I used to live in Radcliffe, and I thought of going to have a look.

When I got to Bamber Bridge, there was nobody there so I thought of having a go at it.

I got as far as where the M61 crosses it.

I was riding a Honda 50 with L plates on.

After five minutes, I saw a large black Humber behind me.

They people in it said it was not opened yet, and anyway I had L plates on and the Honda was only a 50cc. Of course, I didn’t know any of the rules.

I was lucky not to get fined.

They told me they couldn’t fine me as the road was not opened.

This means the Honda was the first one on the motorway.

Owen Ruse, Leyland

‘If it will break your heart – don’t close libraries’

I am writing in response to the letter from Marcus Johnstone (LEP May 4).

I hope nobody is fooled by Marcus’s crocodile tears when he says “closing libraries will break my heart”.

The simple fact is that he and his LCC Labour colleagues rejected the Conservative Group’s alternative budget which would have kept every library in Lancashire open and would actually have left them with £1m more in the bank.

Of course, like every other local authority, LCC has faced reductions in Government Grant but the financial crisis it faces is caused by Labour’s waste and incompetence.

They have spent tens of millions of pounds on consultants doing work their own staff are paid to do and they have spurned the lucrative financial opportunities, such as a £7m saving on fleet maintenance, left by the previous Conservative Administration. It is still not too late. If it will break your heart to close the libraries, Marcus, then don’t close them!

County Councillor Geoff Driver CBE

Leader, LCC Conservative Group

Reverse this A&E decision

On the face of it, this is simple.

This is an A&E department that serves Chorley and surrounding areas (admittedly not a city but then neither is it an insignificant population – significant enough to make an impact at Preston and/or Blackburn hospitals if we all have to start using these alternative A&Es) and it will be obviously missed if people from Chorley have to start going elsewhere for A&E.

This is so simple that it’s breathtaking that Lancashire Teaching Hospitals could even be considering the closure of Chorley A&E.

The rest of the world rightly considers, and is envious of, the NHS as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the UK’s welfare state.

So why do we have a Government determined to dismantle it and make it look like it’s all someone else’s fault? And why are agencies like Lancashire Teaching Hospitals cooperating with this?

Please, please do whatever you can to reverse this appalling decision which will impact on so many people, particularly those with a disability or who are elderly (like my mother who is approaching her 90th birthday).

Dave Potts, Chorley

Examples of poor finances

Yet another example of the fine control of our finances in the town hall.

As you reported in the article, Council hit with costs after ‘unreasonable’ behaviour, this is yet another in a long line from our planning department in the council (LEP May 4).

Would someone please explain how these things are allowed to happen on a regular basis?

Is it any wonder that the Government of this country cuts back its payments to our councils to bail them out time after time?

PT, Fulwood

Letting bad habits slide

I agree with Clifford Chambers’ letter on spitting (LEP April 26). This habit is, in most cases, disgusting.

Back in the 1950s, signs against it were everywhere. On public transport the sign stated a £5 fine – in those days a week’s wages in the mill.

You see it on television with footballers spitting

every five minutes. I notice more sliding tackles towards the end of a match, no doubt due to the build-up of spit.

Kevin Gooder, address supplied

Keep this ban

I feel great dismay that the ban on bee-killing pesticides should be threatened.

To lift that ban could be catastrophic for this planet if bees declined significantly.

Two applications have been made to lift the ban on neonicotinoid pesticides this year. I would greatly appreciate your help to keep the ban in place for our local farmers and anyone affected by this.

Julie Jones, Darwen

Miners’ justice

After the Hillsborough inquests, let’s hope the miners who were arrested at Orgreave get justice.

G Ellison via email