Letters - Monday,August 2, 2021

Help those with no off-street charging

Monday, 2nd August 2021, 3:45 pm
Electric cars

I use my car every day for work and, as things start get back to normal, taking the children to clubs etc.

I live in a terraced house in Blackpool with no access to off-street parking, I don’t have a drive, a garage, or even a front garden. Therefore all this talk of getting rid of petrol cars and forcing everyone to use an EV (electric vehicle) is making me and some neighbours I’ve spoken to, anxious for the future.

How is someone like me going to charge up the car?

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The government joyfully says I can use one of the public charging points. But currently these are non existent and have a reputation for being a rip-off compared to charging privately, which is not an option for me.

Much more needs to be done now to address this.

For a start all charging points need to be priced the same (smart meters could do this?).

Also, it won’t help those living in flats but maybe a change in parking rules could be introduced on terraced streets, allocating the pavement space in front of the house as being part of the house behind it for the purposes of charging an EV.

Maybe I’ll just hold on to my petrol car as long as I can, and by that time the children will be older. Then I’ll stop driving.... maybe that’s the government’s intention all along, to drive us off the roads!

Name and address supplied

It came as no surprise to me that the Treasury would want to recoup the losses of fuel duty during our transition from petrol / diesel vehicles to EVs.

HMRC has confirmed that EV public charging points will be subject to 20 per cent VAT at the point of use and suppliers of these points have stated that this 20 per cent increase will have to be paid by the general public.

Employers and employees currently claiming fuel expenses are now faced with a completely different set of rules if they are thinking of running a EV, and I’d urge anyone in this position to refer to the government website on the matter.

Mike Marlow

via email

TRANSPORT

Freight argument not good enough

I have now heard an argument saying that the best justification for HS2 going ahead is to remove freight from UK roads.

This is the latest in a series of arguments to justify HS2. The first was speed – you could get to London 30 minutes quicker, increasing productivity.

No-one had taken into account that you can work on mobile devices while travelling so that excuse was quickly buried in favour of the need for capacity. The capacity argument was always tenuous but it was completely debunked by the Covid pandemic.

So now it has shifted again to freight. If you are building a £100bn-plus railway and you have to keep changing the reason for doing it, it is a safe bet that it is a bad idea!

The freight argument falls apart completely when you consider that HS2 is a high speed railway. Freight doesn’t need high speed, so why introduce extra high speed capacity?

Does it matter that it is hight speed? Yes it does, a lot! If the railway wasn’t high speed it would be far cheaper to build.

A high speed track cannot bend, which explains why it is causing huge environmental damage and wrecking the quality of life for thousands of people along the route.

It can’t avoid valuable land and property so the acquisition costs in a densely populated island like ours are sky high.

It will also use at least three times as much electricity as a lower speed railway which is part of the reason why it won’t be net carbon neutral for at least 120 years.

The real motivation for HS2 has always been to help London’s issue with affordable housing by turning northern cities into domiciles for commuters, sucking jobs into the capital. In the North, it is supported by local civic leaders who only focus on investment in city centres and ignore the damage to the wider areas.

Andrew Hardy

via email

TOURISM

Truly it’s Europe’s best kept secret

I have to endorse the opinion of David Craggs about Northern Ireland (Your Say, July 27).

It is Europe’s best kept secret. We went for a few days on a motorcycle 15 years ago on the Stena Ferry from Fleetwood, a great experience, now sadly gone.

We stayed a night in Bangor. It was the nicest resort we had ever seen.

Unlike many in Scotland and Wales, all the people we met obviously had a great love of the English people.

As soon as you speak, everyone comes to help and have a chat, despite everything that has happened in the past. They were the most genuine nicest folk we have ever met. Giants Causeway is amazing and the coastal road has to be the most spectacular highway in the world.

Belfast is incredible.

It is the second safest city in the world after Tokyo. You feel so comfortable. The bus tour is a must. Seeing all those sites that you saw on the news is an eye-opener.

The guide’s commentary should be bottled and sold, hilarious. We have the most wonderful memories, such as sleeping in the bed that Joey Dunlop used to sleep in when he raced in Northern Ireland.

It was in a bungalow in Cookstown, opposite the hill where the King of Ireland was crowned. Hardly a day passes without us mentioning that holiday. If you haven’t been, what are you waiting for? Get over there and check it out.

Tom Walmsley

Blackpool

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