Readers’ letters - January 8

Volunteers showed the Lancashire spirit by helping out flood victims, says the Secretary of State for the Environment. See letter
Volunteers showed the Lancashire spirit by helping out flood victims, says the Secretary of State for the Environment. See letter
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The real Lancashire spirit

I write to express my thanks to the many people of Lancashire who were out and ready to help their neighbours during the December storms – from churches and community centres that opened their doors to those who handed out cups of tea in the driving rain.

We saw the real Lancashire spirit and people’s generosity exceeded all expectations.

I also want to thank the members of the emergency services, military, Environment Agency, volunteers and all others who responded in December.

I saw for myself first hand teams of people from across the country who had travelled at short notice to help total strangers in any way they could – many giving up time with their families over the festive period to help affected communities.

To all those who gave so much time and effort, your contribution was invaluable, thank you.

Elizabeth Truss, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Endless degrees but no sense

Am I the only person who is fed up of people in authority blaming global warming for all the floods we are experiencing?

We have always had copious amounts of rainfall in the UK.

The green environmentalists campaigned to have rivers no longer dredged many years ago and farmers were no longer given assistance to clean out dykes, drains and culverts and then, to cap it all, we have decided to concrete all our green field sites over with housing developments.

Anyone with an ounce of common sense should realise water has to go somewhere.

The road drains are never cleaned out by the council and, with all the dirt on the roads created by all the construction work, the dirt is being washed down the drains, which are already clogged up.

I cannot understand why no provisions are ever made when concreting green field sites over to accommodate surplus water.

Surely this should be one of the major issues.

It is time we got back to basics and started dredging rivers again and assisting farmers to maintain their land.

People seem to forget that farmers used to quietly maintain green fields, but they now have their hands tied with all the mindless regulations.

The cost of all this clean up for the unfortunate people who have been flooded out of their homes must be immense. They struggle to get house insurance through, in most instances, no fault of theirs.

It is time these major problems were addressed.

We are experiencing flood waters where it never used to flood. The problem we are facing is that we have people in charge of matters who have endless degrees but no common sense.

E Moon via email

Sad to see end of pacer trains

There has been much rejoicing in the press about the phasing out of pacer trains (LEP December 24).

True, their interiors have become ‘old hat’ and unattractive, but one set of passengers will be sorry to see them go.

People with mobility problems find them the easiest of all the trains to get on and (more particularly) to get off.

The most difficult trains in these parts are the Pendolinos.

It just goes to show that modern things don’t necessarily get everything right – nor are old things undesirable in every regard.

It would be good if an enterprising designer could specify attractive new trains which are also ‘easy­ access’.

Most of the bus manufacturers seem to have mastered it now.

Neil Inkley, Walton-Le-Dale

Teens were my guardian angels

I wonder if those responsible for the repair of Preston Bus Station are aware of how the present fiasco there affects their bus passengers – especially the elderly and those with mobility problems?

On December 27, I was dropped off by a coach firm which uses the facility to drop off people on feeder­ coaches.

My son usually picks me up from there but the coach driver, who kindly agreed to phone him, couldn’t get through. (I don’t have a mobile phone as I am hard­ of ­hearing and have arthritic hands). He had other passengers on his coach so had to leave me there, stranded with my luggage.

There was nobody to help me, I daren’t leave my luggage to try to go to the public phone.

Two young girls (about 14 years of age) passed, engrossed in a game on their mobile, and sat nearby. I asked for their help. These days they get such a bad press, as do we disabled elderly, but I approached them and offered to pay for a call if they could use their phone to try to get through to my son.

Unfortunately they had run out of top-up but offered to go to the public phone to order me a taxi. I asked if they knew any taxi numbers and they said they knew “loads” of them.

My immediate thought was how come two vulnerable young girls on their own at night were regularly using taxis?

However, they ran off and managed to order one for me as long as I left the bus station to reach it.

The problem then arose of how I was going to manage that, plus my luggage. The only option was an underpass, down three flights of steps, and then a further walk to the outside of the perimeter of the bus station.

My two little guardian angels offered to help me by carrying all my luggage whilst I managed to negotiate all the steps and get to the taxi.

(I use a walking stick as I have arthritis in my spine, wrists and toes).

On locating the taxi, the driver remaining seated, created yet another hurdle. Not to be daunted, the girls managed to get my luggage into the boot for me, and finally I arrived home in Penwortham where the driver did assist me.

After seeing me off, my two little friends waved me a cheery goodbye, proving that all young people aren’t the same.

God bless them.

A very grateful pensioner,