City council has got its priorities wrong
First, congratulations on your front page scoop (Lendal Bridge – the secret files, February 27). A great piece of effective journalism.
A council spokeswoman states that the trial closure was not to generate revenue, but as part of a long-term vision to create an even more attractive thriving city for everyone.
If that was the case, and money wasn’t the motive for closing the bridge, why did not the council just install signs saying that the bridge had restricted use?
Instituting fines has generated a massive amount of animosity from visitors to York. With York council’s collective mindset it is not surprising that Richard Littlejohn in the Daily Mail has been poking fun at some of its latest “achievements”, one of which is to provide self-esteem courses for habitual drunkards.
Meanwhile, in Bishopthorpe, the council is refusing to pay for a lollipop lady near a school, on the grounds that the road is “too dangerous”.
It has also purchased a spy car to monitor parents and fine them if they dare to park for a few seconds when dropping off their children. York councillors certainly get their priorities right. Remember that please when election times come around.
Linda Sheridan, Larchfield, Stockton Lane, York.
• I wonder if many people saw the BBC TV Look North last Thursday when Coun Dave Merrett was interviewed by Harry Gration? Harry said his answer was rubbish but Coun Merrett still insisted that closing Lendal Bridge caused an average delay of four minutes.
I don’t know where the calculation was done but if four is an average what numbers are the maximum and minimum? There is a majority against the closure but Coun Merrett has his agenda and he will have his way and ignore the people. He is not working for the people as he claims but for his own ends.
He is lucky he is in a safe seat or he’d be sent packing. A comment on the soldiers in the First World War was “lions led by donkeys” – it says it all about our councillors.
Tony Skaife, Highcliffe Court, York.
• The continued restrictions on Lendal Bridge after the end of the supposed trial period, together with revelations in secret emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, make it clear that Labour have already decided this asset will remain closed come hell or high water.
The only way the bridge can be returned to its intended function as a river crossing for the benefit of all York citizens is by a change of political control at the ballot box.
I will vote for the candidate that commits to at least investigating the possibility of sweeping away unnecessary blockages, restrictions and traffic lights in order to get vehicles flowing freely through the city. The way to deal with congestion is to get vehicles moving as quickly and easily as possible to where they need to go – not to invent more and more obstacles in the hope that the traffic will all go away. It won’t.
Matthew Laverack, Lord Mayors’ Walk, York.
• Having read all the letters and talked to a lot of people about Lendal Bridge I have come to some conclusions.
Of all the people I have spoken to who are not happy with the closure not one when asked can provide an alternative to our traffic problems. Whatever is done to solve the problem is going to please some and displease others. At least this council is trying to do something.
As for the people who contest the fines bleating about the warning signs, that to me is an indication that they don’t look out for any signs. Other cities have the same system and drivers from York have been fined. The signs are adequate as proved by drivers I have seen turning round.
It is disgraceful that people are let off by people who do not care about our great city.
While I am not for or against this experiment, I do appreciate that the council is trying and even if I do not in the future agree with what it does I wish it well as I believe it has a nearly impossible task.
Barry Hamer, Thief Lane, York.
• A reader has asked me how I can square an argument for restricting car use in the city centre with the substantial income the city derives from car parking. You can park your car in almost any York car park, including Park&Ride, without impinging on the city centre.
We need to think bigger than this. I have heard many well thought-out arguments for curbing car use in York’s city centre, involving the realities of the worsening traffic problem, especially given the rapid growth in population. This sense of vision (shared by national government and comparable cities across Europe) has not been matched by those of a reactionary mindset who have been challenged time and time again to give us their own coherent vision of how we can have a city with living streets, a city which is pleasant to live in for everyone, with equal access to save travel space. The silence is deafening.
Please can they present their alternative traffic management policy so that we can understand how it is any different from the ostrich with its head in the sand?
Jim McGurn, Chief executive, Get Cycling, Hospitals Fields Road, Fulford, York
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