Upset at rail service
How very true it is that we end up with old trains on the Blackpool services (Gazette January 19).
Even when the electric trains come into service, we will have old Thames Link, York-built 1980s 319s, but London has new trains from Derby.
Also more bad news is that West Coast Main Line open access has been denied for the Great North Western rail company to run Blackpool trains in 2017.
This would have been electric main line new trains, six a day to London.
Who are the O.R.R.(Office of Rail Regulation) to have such a say over our future as a main holiday town?
As an ex-railway man of 40 years, I am very upset by this.
Mr A. Armstrong
Cherry Tree Road
Don’t squander this chance
As the decision on Cuadrilla’s planning application looms, I wanted to offer some personal perspectives on Lancashire shale gas, based on three different roles I occupy in the debate.
In an ideal world, powered entirely by renewables, it would not be necessary to extract the gas that has lain trapped in the shale rock below Lancashire for millions of years. But we don’t live in an ideal world, we live in this one.
As an environmental expert, I am in no doubt that shale gas can be extracted in a manner that protects the local environment, based on nearly 20 years’ experience of managing environmental risks.
Shale gas exploration isn’t risk-free, but, from what I’ve seen, all the right controls appear to be in place to minimise those risks. And I believe it is adequately regulated too.
From a trade body’s view, regardless of whether you’re for it, against or agnostic, one thing’s for certain: if it does go ahead, it’s going to be better all round if the supply chain that supports it can come to be dominated by smaller companies, with a particular focus on businesses that are situated in the areas where it takes place.
That’s the view of the Onshore Energy Services Group that I head up, which is campaigning for British SMEs to get a fair share of the supply chain work on offer.
The Lancashire resident’s view - I live in Lancashire with my family.
We breathe the same air, and drink the same water as everyone else.
So when opponents of shale gas extraction accuse me of being in this for the money, they overlook the fact I’d have to live with the consequences too - and no amount of money would persuade me to knowingly put my family in harms way.
They’re wrong in any case: while my company was originally going to be looking after the wastewater generated in hydraulic fracturing after identifying a safe and reliable method of treating it, Cuadrilla has since decided to take control of this instead, and so it’s no longer something my company and I will benefit from.
But I still support the principle of shale gas exploration, provided it’s done right.
There’s a real opportunity for our region to benefit from this industry, creating jobs as it produces much-needed gas to heat our homes and businesses while renewable electricity lights them. If our communities decide to pass up on this opportunity, so be it. But let’s not squander the opportunity for the wrong reasons.
Parking meter anguish
How is it that we have all this technology in the world, except when it comes to parking meters?
For instance, why is it that drinks machines and snack machines can give out change, but parking meters can’t?
Is this because it means you end up paying over the odds, and the council makes more money as a result?
Also, here in Blackpool, I’ve noticed many of the machines refuse to take shiny, new 10 pences.
Name and address supplied
Catch these vandals
I was saddened to discover that yet again, our Grade II listed Victorian shelter on our glorious Promenade in St Annes had been viciously attacked by mindless moronic vandals last weekend.
Another two windows had been smashed in this beautiful historic Victorian shelter leaving only five remaining out of the original 28!
Costing council tax payers thousands of pounds and spoiling the ‘family friendly’ image of our classic resort, these mindless vandals need to be caught.
I am heartbroken at the damage to our traditional seaside resort but even more eager to assist St Annes police and Fylde Council to catch those responsible.
I urge residents to call the police on 101 with any information or anonymously call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please be assured that Lancashire Constabulary work hard together with Fylde Council making our area still one of the safest in Lancashire and residents should feel assured that police are doing all they can to catch these criminals who are spoiling our town.
Police Community Volunteer