Readers’ letters - October 23

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New model needed to end debt culture

If politicians and economists had anything between their ears, the present trend for mortgages beyond 25 years would be banned.

All this is doing is pulling more debt money from even further into the future and feeding the present house price bubble, which the young are suffering from.

Is it any wonder we are in an economic mess with such stupidity. I was brought up in the 50s and 60s when people didn’t need telling you can’t live on credit.

Banks didn’t throw it at people like confetti at a wedding and maximum mortgage lending was two and a half times income.

Since deregulation became the fashion under the excuse of “freedom to innovate”, all economic hell has been allowed to break loose. What banks have actually created is a gigantic debt parasite. Who gave private banks the right to create money in the first place?

Certainly not the public who have been kept in the dark and who still don’t know that banks lend money they do not have and which is effectively stolen from the future. The generation from the 80s on has been brainwashed into believing they can live on credit and encouraged to binge on it.

I particularly remember the TV advert with the housewife on the phone telling the grinning idiot holding a football that they could borrow £25,000 to blow away on any self-indulgence they fancied, “no problem!”.

Well, credit is not just a problem for the borrower and lender, it feeds the whole system with false money, because credit is nothing but the promise of future payment.

The economy is full of bubbles of promise masquerading as real money, giving false appearances and statistics based on money that is nothing but a promise that has been given a numerical value. Economists might call credit “leverage”, but it is only leverage when it is supporting a sustainable system.

And it is clear to me that nobody on this planet knows what a balanced and sustainable system looks like.

Gordon Sanderson

address supplied


Return roads to drawing board

Real Cuerden resident, rightly commented on the roads in that area (letters, October 16), but if only he had been able to drive round to Penwortham he would have found reasons to further criticise the performance of our road planners.

After resolving the ‘unexpected’ discovery that the Brown Hare car park blocked the path of Penwortham Way, lo and behold they discover that someone had erected an electricity pylon on the route to the Cop Lane roundabout.

Notwithstanding that, they have ploughed on and replaced the Cop Lane roundabout, which functioned reasonably well, with a job lot of traffic lights which seem to be phased to ensure traffic queues on each of the approach roads.

It seems a shame that we don’t seem to have invested any of the City Deal money in professional road planning.




Improvements not working

How much has been spent on the new traffic lights on the Penwortham Bypass at Pope Lane?

There was nothing wrong with the roundabout.

Now it’s carnage. Defies logic. And the traffics lights on the roundabout where the tank is? Why?

Craig Richardson



Rail links need big answers

I welcome John Balaam’s knowledgeable contribution to the use of digital technology for railways in the North (letters, October 13.).

However, I am surprised to see John seems to consider digital technology is the panacea for, in my humble opinion (and I do know something about its use, John), it is far from that.

In my letter I used the argument that Chris Grayling was using the London Underground as an example of the use of digital technology. John derided my using this as a comparison, stating that this self-contained system is for ease of maintenance only.

However John, in citing examples of where digital technology has taken over, he quotes Merseyrail as an example, but is this not, John, also a self-contained system?

What other trains/train companies use this three rail, electrified system? Some people still wish that they could travel from East Lancs straight to Liverpool rather than face the more tortuous routes available to them and having to face numerous changes of train.

John then goes on to state that HS1 uses digital technology to the extent that it uses signal display in the cab, thus allowing more trains to run on each section of line.

Yes, John, but this is once again almost a self-contained system with just Eurostar and Hitachi Class 390 ‘Javelin’ high speed trains (the latter run by SE Railways) travelling along this relatively new and dedicated track.

Try using that on the near 200 year old Lancashire and Yorkshire railway between Preston and Leeds going via Blackburn, Halifax and Bradford, quite a bit of it still using semaphore signalling.

One thing that I do agree on is that these high speed trains could not simply rely on current trackside signalling as the train would be past a signal before the driver could react, so needs more advance warning and thus can see its place in increasing safety in these trains.

Ultimately though John admits - and I agree - that more capacity comes down to timetabling which determines what trains can run on what tracks at what times and taking into account their different speed capabilities.

And that relies upon a different kind of digital technology with the timetablers hammering away with their, er, digits, on the computer keyboards and then having to do some more when the North’s not so modern trains break down or derail, the points fail, the rail breaks, there is a lineside fire, a level crossing fails, there is a passenger illness or fatality, animals stray on to the line or the lineside electrical equipment gets nicked by those nefarious beings wanting to make a quick buck from the metal.

Other railway problems may also be available.

Neil Swindlehurst

Walmer Bridge