WITH less than 100 days to go until the Grand Depart, the verges are in a terrible mess on Water End – one of the first roads in the event. Not a picturesque start.

I’d like to think it would be cleaned before July, but since the clearly visible carpet of litter along the hedgerows hasn’t been touched in months, I don’t hold out much hope.

York is spending £3.3m “reinvigorating” its city centre. However, a visitor’s first impression is usually the abysmally filthy A-roads such as the A59, A64 and A1237 – which now seem to be depressingly neglected and constantly lined with litter – and York’s suburbs, which aren’t well maintained either.

If these parts of York can’t be kept clean for the residents who pay for these services, I hope the prospect of tens of thousands of overseas visitors and three billion worldwide TV viewers might prove a greater incentive.

Mr S Richards, Hamilton Drive, Holgate, York.