Letters - November 9, 2017

Drivers, I have two words... good luck!

Good luck to all drivers wanting to get from south shore to St Annes and beyond.

Highfield Road, SHUT (pictured); St Martins Road, SHUT; Squires Gate Lane bridge, SHUT; Harrowside bridge, SHUT; School Road, SHUT; gridlock at the Highfield Road junction with Hawes Side Lane and Common Edge Road; Midgeland Road, SHUT one way.

And it’s pot luck if Preston New Road is passable due to the protesters.

The only way to get to the promenade from east of Hawes Side Lane in Marton is along Watson Road through probably one of the most dangerous junctions in Blackpool, at the bridge traffic lights.

And soon to make things even worse in the town centre, Talbot Square is to close for six weeks so that Blackpool council can make a start on wasting more than £20m on a white elephant.

I am sure given time I could think of more chaos on the roads but I’ve got to go and clear the street gutters of all the leaves and grass growing before the rain comes and floods the road again because the drains are blocked. Well done to Blackpool Council’s Minister for Road closures.

Anon

Via email

TRANSPORT

Good roads have 
to be paid for

The deteriorating state of highways in Lancashire surely strikes a chord with many road users.

At one level the ‘problem’ would seem to be one of simply not enough money to effect repairs, but in truth the issue is a symptom of fundamental errors of policy and confusion by successive governments.

Road surfaces deteriorate through age, usage – volume and type of traffic – and breaking and remediation of the surface when accessing utilities. In the latter case the remediation tends to ‘settle’, which in time results in the characteristic dip in the surface.

Repairing deterioration through age and usage is a duty that rightly falls upon the local highway authority, while remediation of the surface following utility work is a responsibility for the utility or their contractor.

Firstly, revenue raised from Vehicle Excise Duty (originally known as the Road Fund) should revert to a specific, discrete Fund that is separate from general taxation and overseen by a statutory board.

Money would be allocated from the Fund for the purpose of road maintenance and repair with any excess held as a reserve, or in exceptional circumstances transferred to the Exchequer.

Such a policy would be simple, clear and improve transparency.

Secondly, the owners of utility networks (pipes, cables etc.) should have to pay a Road Remediation Levy based on the length of their network in the roads for the purpose of meeting the cost of ‘settlement’ following road works that they have undertaken.

Of course, in economics there is no such thing as a ‘free’ lunch and we should be clear in accepting that a Levy would constitute a cost that would be borne by the companies using the network and ultimately paid by the end customer of water, gas and electricity.

One way or another if you want a decent road network and surfaces then it has to be funded appropriately and adequately.

Kevin Hey

Address supplied

FIREWORKS

It’s time to have a curfew for fireworks

I know many people love November 5, but it’s about time it was sorted out.

All right, I can hear it right now: “Were you never young, and didn’t you enjoy fireworks?”

Well, I was young once, don’t recall when, but come on, the stuff we had was pathetic although we didn’t think so.

Roman Candles, Catherine Wheels that didn’t go round but just put a big burn on your shed door, and flip-flaps, or little demons, that, if you hadn’t a hearing aid, you would miss!

No, it doesn’t compare with World War Three that broke out at the weekend.

I think organised events are great, but if you insist on home displays, couldn’t we have a curfew of, say, 9.30pm, and then all the folks with very young kids and those with, by now, neurotic pets could relax?!

We had a late flurry Saturday night, but near my daughter’s, some heroes thought 1.30am was ideal! Aged rant over!

Allan Fazackerley

via email

ENERGY

Fracking’s not

just local issue

I am writing in response to the letter from ex-councillor Bernard Whittle (Your Say, November 1). It is mentioned many of the anti-fracking protesters are not local.

This statement shows a lack of understanding of what the protest is about.

While it is true that people living in the vicinity are being adversely affected by Cuadrilla’s actions, fracking is a national and international issue.

This country is a signatory to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and this is incompatible with further development of fossil fuels. To describe fracking as a “welcome industry” is absurd. All mining of fossil fuels should be banned.

Many countries have imposed a permanent ban on fracking. England is now the only part of the British Isles which allows fracking.

If we had a stronger government at Westminster, which was able to force the energy industries to invest entirely in renewables, the whole issue would be resolved, and the protesters would go home.

Christine Tootill

Lytham St Annes

More from News