Having never been a fan of the honours system, I nearly choked on my breakfast cereal when I heard the news that the chief executive of Network Rail, Mark Carne, had been awarded an honour in the Queen’s birthday honour list. But you can always rely on someone to put their foot in it without seeing the irony. According to a spokesperson the timing could have been better.

Whoever decides to put the list for honours before Her Majesty should take a deep hard look at real life.

Keith Isaac,

Byron Drive, York