Readers’ letters - October 3

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Politicians divorced from today’s reality

We have increased threats from potential terrorists, more and more cars are on our roads with potential offenders driving, crime is 
on the increase and we regularly hear of gang stabbings and murders and yet our Government, led by Theresa May, has cut our defences to the point where they cannot cope with the ever-rising demands on their services.

One question that has to be answered is why?

She and her cohorts have special protection officers so she is not at the same level of risk as those who elected her are.

Added to all that is the fact that our NHS is also struggling and there are 
too few doctors in GP surgeries.

Yet we send money to ridiculous causes like helping the Chinese to stop smoking.

Billions are to be spent on a railway to save a few minutes on a journey from Birmingham to London and, in the building process, destroying homes.

Where is the sense in all this? It is clear that our politicians are divorced from the reality of today’s world.

The only thing that could possibly be worse is a government lead by Unite’s poodle Jeremy Corbyn and that is the only reason the May Government retains power.

Peter Hyde

Address supplied


MP’s wrong

roll model

So Chris Grayling, our Transport Secretary, has thrown the north yet another bone in terms of improving our railway system, this time using digital technology to give more capacity and reliability to the rail service, or so we are led to believe by his rhetoric.

However, there is one major drawback to his plan.

Using the London Underground model simply cannot be applied in the north for the following reasons:

1. LU trains run on each of the various lines’ own tracks using basically the same model of train.

2. Whenever newer and faster trains are introduced on any given line, this largely has to be on the basis of an all or nothing change as the older, slower models will simply slow down the system to their pace of working.

3. Most trains are also of a similar length being governed by the length of the platforms.

4. The motive power for all the trains is the same.

5. There is only the one train operating company, London Underground, run by Transport for London.

Now, contrast that with the situation up north.

The tracks in the north are used by various train operating companies, who each have their own types of train which are of various lengths. They run on different motive powers.

They also have different maximum speed capabilities and ultimately any such system can only run taking into account the lowest speed of any given train.

This is why all the train stations between Preston and Lancaster became unviable because the stopping trains which called at each station were slowing down the express trains, and indeed explains why trying to reopen such smaller stations is futile as the line from Preston to Lancaster is largely only two roads. Making it a four-road line would involve some expensive engineering work.

Additionally, we have heritage trains pulled by vintage diesel and steam locomotives running all over the northern network. Long may they continue to run. However, how would these fit into Chris Grayling’s grand plan?

And if we are to believe his earlier plans about us having to use ‘dual fuel’ trains, due to cancellation of (his word) ‘unnecessary’ full electrification of the northern network, just how would this situation be accommodated into this digital age? In my opinion, it is utter tosh and will not work.

Listen, Mr Grayling, to the real experts and they will agree with me, so that makes two things not fit for purpose: this ‘digital’ idea and Mr. Grayling.

Taking the London Underground as your roll(ing stock) model, Mr Grayling, is garbage. The risk here is you actually think you are under the delusion that it is a GOOD idea. As you may assume that we all speck like this up int’ North, thas’ not got much between th’ears, ‘as thi?

Mr Grayling, when was the last time that you took a train on the northern network? Wouldn’t it be great for this network to get what London gets with its underground – trains every MINUTE? No, instead we get the bone of just one pound per person while, down in London, £6 is spent providing public transport.

We may be ‘all in it together’ but clearly not all EQUALLY in it together.

Given one alternative meaning to the word ‘digital’, Mr Grayling, how about you pulling yours out?

Neil Swindlehurst

Walmer Bridge


Reality check for EU leavers

Moves to impose potentially crippling tariffs on plane maker Bombardier should provide a cold and hard reality check for all of those sold on the dream of a brave new post-Brexit world of opportunity.

That this news comes just weeks after Theresa May sought reassurances from the US over the wrangle suggests the special relationship may not be so special after all in Trump’s world of ‘America first’.

At a time when the UK needs its traditional ally to stand firm as Brexit negotiations stumble along in Brussels, the Prime Minister is reduced to making veiled threats of a trade war with America.

May admits she sees “protectionism creeping in around the world” which begs the question, what is the likelihood of the EU not adopting the same approach with the UK two years down the line?

Michael Roberts