Bring railways back into public ownership
I was glad to see my local MP, Mark Menzies, in your paper highlighting the extortionate fares that Virgin trains are charging to travel to London (LEP January 10).
I have recently had the misfortune however to have to travel on another of our rail franchise operators.
Having started a college course through my employer on a Monday in Manchester, I have been using their service for the past two weeks.
Last week I was refused passage on my train home on the 4.10pm from Deansgate (25 minutes late) as it was full to capacity.
Why was this, you may ask?
It had a total of two carriages!
Again this Monday, I boarded my train from Kirkham at 8.10am.
By Chorley, it was full.
By Bolton, people were refused passage as the train was full to capacity.
Again two carriages.
Not only is the service woeful, the carriages are filthy, cramped and, to be frank, look like they have seen their best days about 30 years ago!
I do have a problem however with Mr Menzies MP bringing this up.
His party has a complete lack of a plan or solution for the problems we are seeing in public transport and I don’t see him offering one.
It is all very well him publicising himself in this paper as the champion of the train traveller but what is his plan to improve things?
The only party with a credible plan as far as I can see is the Labour Party and their policy to bring the railways back into public ownership.
Trident missile farce continues
The Trident missile misfire farce continues, following the interview on Sunday with Andrew Marr, when the Prime Minister failed five times to answer the questions of what she knew about the catastrophe – which happened just before the House of Commons was ready to commit our country to the purchase of the new Trident system.
It is serious for the country on cost alone but faulty missiles are even worse.
The farce continued in the House of Commons when Michael Fallon, the defence Secretary, went on dissembling and refused for “security reasons” to confirm details of the test last June. He insisted the HMS Vengeance submarine missile launch on the whole was “successfully certified and tested”.
Even as he spoke, a US defence official was briefing CNN in the US that the Trident missile programme did go wrong! The missile had changed course in an automatic ‘self-destruct’ sequence.
This news came from MPs who were reading about it on their phones in Parliament, while the defence minister refused to comment!
This led a Labour MP to state that more has been revealed by the US defence department than to the Houses of Parliament!
The US defence source, who CNN claimed had “direct knowledge of the incident”, said the missile was diverted into the ocean by an automatic sequence when on-board electronics “detected an anomaly”.
At the heart of the issue is a worrying lack of transparency from a Prime Minister who has chosen to cover up a serious incident rather than being frank with the British public who have paid for it!
Now this raises questions – if the missile was faulty, are the purchasers able to request compensation and return all missiles purchased as faulty and therefore not fit for purpose?!
For example, their ability to stay on course and blow up the correct target set for it.
Has the Government purchased a warranty agreement? Alternatively it would be better business practice for the American Government to recall all their missiles from any country that they have sold them to.
Puzzle: How do you get to the station?
Re: Fishergate bus route fines. Having received a fine of £30, which I paid immediately as I was awaiting an important phone call, I later noticed I had been filmed at 9.48am but the sign says you are banned from the bus lane between 11am until 6pm so I have written a letter to claim my money back.
However, I was taking two friends to the railway station so I travelled up Corporation Street, turned right onto Fishergate and then left down to the rail station. But there are no signs on Corporation Street informing you that the short stretch of bus lane is prohibited to motor vehicles.
As I was in town the following day, I was aware of several vehicles travelling either to the rail station or down Fishergate Hill. I wonder how many people have been caught doing this manoeuvre which would make a fortune for LCC?
It does beg the question.. how do you get to the train station? Perhaps someone from LCC will let us know.
Tories have been a disaster for NHS
What does it take to get people to understand that the main problem with the NHS is that it has been subjected to almost continual ‘radical overhaul’ –aka ‘reform’ – almost since it was created (LEP Letters, January 21). The last thing it needs is more meddling by know-nothings dedicated to the pursuit of an ideologically driven agenda.
Right wing letter writers who argue for ‘radical overhaul’ of the NHS would do well to recall that, before the 2010 general election, Cameron promised the NHS was safe with the Tories.
No sooner was Cameron in Downing Street than Andrew Lansley was let loose to throw the NHS up into the air like a bunch of Pooh Sticks and see where it landed.
Meanwhile Iain Duncan Smith was playing havoc with social care, egged on by Osborne. What a catastrophic triumvirate.
Michael Gove’s scorn for ‘experts’ is consistent with Conservative thinking – there isn’t much and it is
certainly not joined up.
Give the Harris a clean-up instead
I can’t help but agree with your correspondent ‘Interested in the Arts’ (LEP January 23). The Harris Museum & Art Gallery is too important and fine a building to risk having its integrity compromised by the proposed new front entrance. A better approach would be to spend the funding on having its exterior cleaned. Removing the accumulated grime of decades would reveal the true elegance and grandeur of the building whilst, at the same time, giving the sense of it being more cared-for, inviting and welcoming.