Readers’ letters - October 13

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Let’s hope Grayling keeps his word

I am writing in reply to Neil Swindlehurst’s letter about Chris Grayling’s plan to increase reliability and capacity on this region’s railways (LP Letters, October 3).

Mr Swindlehurst clearly has no understanding of the role of digital technology on the railway.

Whilst trains do have plenty of on-board electronics, these are really for the purpose of controlling safety systems to prevent such events as overspeeding or passing signals at which they are required to stop.

He is right in what he says about the London Underground being a self-contained system with standard trains but that is only to allow for ease of maintenance and has no bearing whatsoever on the main use of digital technology.

The signalling system in this part of the country is not new and can for that reason be unreliable and achieve limited line capacity.

This is where digital technology really comes into play.

Some of the present signalling is lever-worked semaphore and much was replaced in the 1960s and 1970s with push button electrical systems.

All of this is basically wearing out.

Along the East Coast Main Line, Merseyrail and parts of Manchester, digital technology has taken over, but there is an even newer system based on that in use on high speed lines in Europe which dispenses with the use of lineside signals by using a signal display in the cab and this system can allow more trains to run on each section of line.

This latter system is in use on HS1 and caters for different types of train so long as they are fitted with the necessary equipment to receive the cab signals.

Differing train speeds does not matter in this context. The slowest one will always determine the line capacity but this is controlled by timetabling in which slots are provided for a series of trains of equal speed and loops are provided to give opportunity for faster ones to pass.

What we all hope is that Grayling keeps his word.

John Balaam

New Longton


Road accident concerns

Consider yourselves fortunate, D’urton Lane residents, in having your road restricted to prevent drivers using it as a short-cut (LP October 7).

We, the residents of the Langdale/Stuart Road area in Ribbleton, have been trying for years to get the council to do something about the hundreds of drivers who use this route in order to avoid the traffic lights at Cromwell Road/Ribbleton Avenue.

It is made worse as there is a junction at the Langdale/ Stuart Road intersection which the majority seem to ignore, with the result that all residents have had near misses or worse.

Yes, the council did some work a few years ago by imposing a 20mph speed restriction and, at considerable cost, installed some sleeping policeman humps.

They might as well have given the money away as neither of these have made any effect whatsoever.

We have been told that blocking the road off at one end to create a cul-de-sac is not justified on the basis that the accident/incident rate does not warrant it, despite the fact that unreported accidents occur on a regular basis.

On that basis, the council seems to be waiting for a serious accident to occur before they take action.

I just hope it’s not me or my family that’s involved.

A Concerned Resident


‘Modern day Dick Turpins’

Fixed odds betting terminals (pictured, inset) and, to a lesser extent, the National Lottery and the like, are a tax on the poor.

It beggars belief that these machines have so little regulation from central Government, as does the loan shark industry, which is allowed to roam this country taking money with menace like a modern day Dick Turpin.

Regulations in this country can be quite severe when it comes to parking, fishing and dog ownership, to name just a few.

But multinational companies and wealthy individuals can rob and persecute vulnerable people with impunity, sometimes causing them to take their own lives, as they see it as the only way out of the nightmare they find themselves in.

The welfare of the people should be the supreme law.

The vulnerable and poor in our society need more protection on these important matters. I support the campaign to reduce the maximum stake on these machines from £100 per bet, to £2 per bet.

John Booker

Address supplied


We were looked after very well

My two sisters, Martha and Betty, and myself, Bernard Garratt, were evacuees from September 1939 and stayed at The Cottage, Garstang Road.

It was owned by Miss Wilson and Mrs Hiram, they also owned Broughton Hall and Barton Hall.

We went to St Mary’s School in Barton. The headmistress was Miss Baron.

I am 86 now and still have fond memories of how well we were looked after.

Is it possible to put a thank you in your paper?

Bernard Garratt

via email


Action call

over plastic

Why should we wait for the Government to authorise

the recycling of plastic bottles?

Is it not possible for city, town and parish councils to set up their own schemes following the speech by Prince Charles on marine pollution?

The Government can’t do everything.

James Buick

via email


We need help from our MPs

Re: BAE job losses.

Where is Ben Wallace, Minister of State (for Home Office and Security) and MP for Wyre and North Lancashire?

It seems there is not a word of sympathy or help from one of our local MPs.