I lived in Leeds for many years and as a motorist was inconvenienced by the introduction of the pedestrianisation of some sections of the city. However, Leeds is now a very nice place to visit with seating areas outside shops and other street furniture. Motorists have got used to it, many like me use the train or bus if visiting the city and there are also car parks for motorists.

So when I moved to beautiful York I could not understand why people needed to drive through the city, making it dangerous for pedestrians and more polluted.

City of York Council should get on with planning for a car free city, not just wider pavements.

Mike Tranter,

Newton on Ouse, York

How about a raised walkway for Bishy Road?

Amidst all the uproar about traffic control on Bishopthorpe Road one suggestion has not been made: the installation of elevated pedestrian walkways.

These would give pedestrians all the space they need whilst restoring the road to two-way traffic. People would be spared jostling with a one-way system.

Those on the ground would walk north to south, and those above walk south to north. People on the ground would have some shelter from the sun and rain, while those above would breath air slightly fresher than that on the ground.

Alas, York council is close to bankruptcy, and will not be undertaking infrastructure projects any time soon.

David Martin, Rosedale Avenue, Acomb, York

Council leader should explain £24m black hole

York council chiefs need an extra £24m on top of the £10m already received from Government to weather the pandemic. This is not an insignificant sum. Therefore, does the council leader not feel it is his duty to explain to ratepayers not only why this money is needed, but also describe in detail how it will be spent, plus does it have to be repaid?

Peter Rickaby,

West Park, Selby

The EU did not bring ‘prosperity to all’

Much as I enjoyed Christian Vassie’s erudite rebuttal of E Sawdon’s attribution of a largely peaceful European 75 years being due to NATO (Letters, May 18), I must qualify his claim of ‘prosperity to all’ EU members. We have family in Italy where the economy was very weak before Covid-19. One can say similar of Spain, and Greece most of all.

The latest figures for youth unemployment I can find suggest they had almost three times our figures before Covid bit.

Dot Nicholson,


It was NATO that made the EU possible

Contrary to what Christian Vassie claims, I do understand. However, it is convenient to forget the role NATO played in favour of the EEC as it then was.

Two dates are relevant. NATO, formed in 1949, kept peace in Western Europe, enabling the EEC to be formed in 1957. I say Western Europe because as Mr Vassie will know, Eastern Europe was under the iron grip of Communist Russia.

Ernest Sawdon,

Whernside Avenue, York

It’s a tragedy the US has a leader unfit for office

Donald Trump refuses to address the World Health Organisation and withdraws funding to the WHO because ‘China has too much sway’.

He instructs the White House to release a video clip from the movie Independence Day with Trump’s head superimposed over that of the fictional president, presumably in an attempt to make him look decisive and Presidential.

He mutters darkly about unnamed alleged crimes perpetrated by his predecessor Barack Obama, while his sons accuse Joe Biden of being a paedophile and assert that the coronavirus will disappear magically the day after November’s Presidential elections.

This is way beyond parody. Trump, aware that he cannot have the respect shown to President Obama, is reduced to impersonating a fictional president even while he occupies the real White House.

He describes nurses and doctors risking death in hospitals because of a lack of PPE as ‘beautiful’, boasts about his viewing figures, and prescribes drinking bleach and taking antibiotics as cures for coronavirus, as deaths in the US soar above 90,000.

Real leaders lead, they don’t hide away hurling insults and making excuses.

It is a tragedy for the US and the world that the White House is occupied by someone so unfit for public office.

Christian Vassie,

Blake Court, Wheldrake, York

Enjoy a ‘virtual’ picnic with friends this weekend

We may not be able to hold picnics in the usual way just yet, but why not hold the next best thing – a virtual picnic? That way you can invite as many people as you want.

National charity Family Action is running its Virtual Family Picnic from May 23-26 and everyone is invited. The charity has created a free pack full of tips, ideas and videos to help people to host their own virtual picnic.

You can hold your picnic in your garden, on your balcony or on the living room floor. Just find some space, make some tasty treats and connect with friends and family online.

Although we are all still respecting social distancing and cannot meet in groups, we can still share experiences together and create happy memories.

And when lockdown finally ends we can do it all again, but this time in person.

To find out more and to get your free pack go to family-action.org.uk/get-involved/virtual-family-picnic/

David Holmes,

CEO Family Action,

Wharf Road, London

Wanted: any old toys, games or watches...

Well everyone, we’re getting back to normal slowly. So what are you going to do with all that stuff you’ve been sorting out?

Please don’t put it back in the loft or bin it. If it’s clean it may be able to help our deaf children who are now way behind with their assessment for a cochlear implant.

Any boxed older games, cars, train sets, watches, fountain pens etc are more than wanted. Email me on eunice.birch@btinternet.com for details. Every penny goes to the children’s needs.

Mrs Eunice Birch,

Coombs Close,

Sutton on Forest, York

Why I’ll bank no more with Barclays

Having been with Barclays Bank since I was nine I am seriously thinking of moving my money elsewhere.

I dislike the bank in the centre of town - too many machines, not enough people. I have for the last 30-odd years had my account at Barclays in Heslington. But no more: for some reason they have closed this branch.

Sorry Barclays, but being 76 I am not going to start banking online nor, given the choice, am I coming into town.

So thank you for the years of good service I had in Heslington, but another bank will now be serving me. I’m not a millionaire so no doubt you won’t miss me, but I will miss the ladies I was served by.

Rita Crombleholme,

Deramore Drive, Badger Hill