Letters - October 26, 2016

Buses are not the place for swearing says Brin the Trotter
Buses are not the place for swearing says Brin the Trotter
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TRANSPORT

Bosses must ensure all passengers count

Are there ghosts on the buses? No, I don’t mean to do with Halloween, but rather whether or not drivers input prepaid tickets when holders board the bus.

A number of people, including a retired BTS driver, have said they have noticed that bus drivers don’t tend to always record day/weekly/monthly tickets – I’ve seen it myself too – such that management may therefore think that a service is not used enough, when there may be up to about 30 on board.

This could lead to the services being cut due to lack of demand, and all those passengers may as well be ghosts!

Don’t forget, there are fewer people paying cash on board than ever before, and it’s important the BTS management are fully aware that all passengers are recorded .

Lately I was told by a current BTS driver that the button the driver presses on the ticket machine to record prepaid tickets is defective on many buses, so it may not be the drivers fault.

This begs the question of how many journeys have gone unrecorded, and how many cuts have been made accordingly that didn’t need to be due recording errors?

One early morning commuter said that a journey carrying about 30 people was axed due to drivers not recording prepaid tickets last year.

I am singling out BTS here, as this has been seen as a national problem for various reasons, whether it be human error or machinery. Indeed, a friend of mine who now lives here originally from Yorkshire has noticed it was like that there too.

J Sullivan

Blackpool

LEISURE

What’s happened 
to our fountains?

All through the summer season, I haven’t seen the intermittent fountains working in St John’s Square or the single fountain in Cedar Square, so what went on there?

I can only surmise that it may be part of Blackpool Council’s ‘cutbacks’, though can’t imagine they cost much to run, and when they’re a key feature in the Square the intermittent fountains seemed to be a feature for kids to enjoy running in and out of. Perhaps it became a ‘safety’ concern?

There was a glowing report when the Cedar Square fountain was restored and moved from South Shore Flag Ship Gardens to be featured in the square, and after a few attempts to correct the flow all seemed well again until this past summer, lying dormant.

I’d like to know if I’ve missed a report of some sort in that the fountains have now become a ‘White Elephant’, lost to a world of health and safety gone haywire again, or part of council cutbacks and perhaps plans to remove them are on the cards?

Clifford Chambers

Ashton Gardens

Blackpool

HEALTH

The great sell-off of 
the NHS has begun

The Conservative government has quietly announced one of the biggest sell-offs in the entire history of the NHS, although there has been no official declaration to the public about our best-loved institution.

You need to take the trouble to read the government’s website, which released details of nine NHS contracts that are up for sale. Worth a staggering £7.9bn, or 7.3 per cent of the total NHS budget, it is something the government is at pains to keep from us. The contracts, in the North West, South West, London, Yorkshire and Humber, and two in the South East, are what are known as “prescribed specialised services”, which fall into these categories:

* Mental Health;

* Trauma (A&E);

* Women and children;

* Blood and infection;

* Pharmacy;

* Cancer.

In the North West alone, over £1.5million is earmarked so far. Privatisation of services within the health service has accelerated since the Tories came to power in 2010. Figures show the amount of money going to “independent sector providers” more than doubled, from £4.1bn in 2009-10 to £8.7bn in 2015-16.

As a percentage of the DoH budget, the amount of money going to private companies increased from four per cent in 2009-10 to eight per cent in 2015-16. These contracts in context will mean major increases in the amount the NHS pays to private companies.

We know that Spire’s hospital bill for Blackpool Wyre and Fylde CCGs in the last three financial years is £22.795 million. A staggering amount of money paid to commercial companies we have no control over, thanks to this government’s creeping privatisation to sell of everything we own! Consequence; our NHS is going.

Roy Lewis

on behalf of Blackpool Wyre and Fylde 38 Degrees campaign, to save the NHS

ENERGY

We have to look for an alternative fuel

I cannot comment on fracking as I don’t know enough about it. However, I can comment on the reason for trying to get an alternative source of fuel to power this country.

Fuel prices are going to rise dramatically within the next decade, and we have to find an alternative, of which fracking is only one. Do you want to see fuel costing four or five times what it costs now, because it will happen if an alternative supply is not found?

This government is ploughing billions of pounds into a process taking place at Drax power station in Yorkshire, it is a process to take carbon from coal leaving nice clean gas,.

It is called carbon capture and storage and, if successful, will secure a supply of clean gas for many, many years to come. Also, the technology will be worth billions and billions of pounds , so don’t rabbit on about Jeremy Corbyn taking a public stance against fracking. In fact, ask what his plans are to find us an alternative fuel supply – you can bet he won’t have one .

Bruce Allen

via email