Letters - October 31, 2017

We must resist the domination of the car

All the research shows that the more roads you build and the wider you make them, with additional lanes, the more traffic expands to fill them. It produces a constant game of catch-up in which Tarmac is the only winner.

We also know from research findings that the car is bad for all our health, bad for the individuals who are driving rather than walking or cycling, and for the rest of us who are breathing in the exhaust fumes. Car pollution is not visible like the 1950s smogs, but the polluting effects are just as serious for the health of the whole community.

Buses are badly coordinated and expensive.

I have been to many US cities and the most successful are those that have controlled their cars, expanded their public transport and opened up green spaces in the heart of their city.

I lived a year in Portland (Oregon), regularly voted the most liveable US city.

The car is virtually absent from the downtown, which is served by a free bus service. The central square used to be a giant car park, but now it is a vibrant public space with culture and commerce thriving. This in a city whose downtown used to be skid row.

The citizens of Portland voted to tear down the freeway and flyovers that dominated the river front and convert it into a linear park of several miles. This park now hosts festivals and other outdoor events, criss-crossed by paths and cycle ways, and is always busy with families enjoying what was once a noisy, fuming strip of tarmac. Conversely, cities like Los Angeles have pretty much abandoned their downtown area as the vested automobile interests long ago killed off the public transport system, but LA is one big parking lot, because the more freeways and fly-overs that they built, the more traffic increased to clog them.

As long as cities are places to visit and not to drive through, we must resist the domination of the car.

It is literally killing us.

Mark Doel

Address supplied

POLITICS

Response to Corbyn ‘rant’

Poor old Dr Barry Clayton, his obsession over Jeremy Corbyn seems to have taken over his life, as yet another nasty rant is published (Your Say, October 26).

We understand that received wisdom and the right wing press always holds that the Tories are better on the economy and defence than Labour, but evidence casts doubts on these ideas.

Under the Conservative/ LibDem coalition, 20,000 soldiers, 5,000 airmen and 5,000 Royal Navy personnel were axed. Now all these forces are gripped with a recruitment crisis. Forces are below strength and the target of 82,000 recruits has been quietly abandoned.

Ministers are alarmed that the two new aircraft carriers ordered by Labour in 2008 and launched last year won’t be commissioned until 2020. HMS Queen Elizabeth doesn’t have any aircraft yet and carriers have been without fighter planes for a decade! Neither have we any maritime patrol aircraft to hunt Russian subs, despite Sir Michael Fallon stating there has been, “An extraordinary increase in Russian sub activity in the North Atlantic”.

What a surprise! Retired military top brass are dismayed at the cuts and, privately, Tory MPs find it difficult to defend their party, as it suffers irreparable damage on defence, welfare and Brexit.

Then to add more chaos, the failing talks on Brexit leave the headgirl Theresa floundering daily, without a coherent plan. Corbyn meanwhile goes from strength to strength at the despatch Box. He has received what in political terms represents an absolute gift – a ringing denunciation of universal credit from a Conservative politician, which, ends in a Labour win following a vote to axe it.

It is becoming easy for Corbyn to berate the government because of their mistakes.

His detractors realise he is fired up by the social injustices heaped upon the country by this nasty government! Be aware Dr Clayton. Be very aware!

Roy Lewis

Blackpool Labour Party
Haddon Road

CELEBRATION

Got any plans for Lancashire Day?

Members of the Friends of Real Lancashire group are busy planning their annual list of events ahead of Lancashire Day on Monday, November 27.

On this date in 1295 the first elected representatives from Lancashire were called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as ‘The Model Parliament’, which was the start of democracy in the country.

The group want people, community groups and schools to let them know of any events they would like to hold in honour of the Red Rose county.

We want to hear from people who have planned an event to take place on the day or during that week.”

As well as showing loyalty to our Red Rose county, Lancashire Day is an opportunity to raise money for charity and for businesses to promote Lancashire goods and produce.

Events usually include Lancashire Day proclamations, Lancashire nights with traditional beer, hot pot and entertainment, heritage walks, and reading of Lancashire dialect.

Remember, if you were born between the River Duddon in the north and the River Mersey in the south you are first and foremost a Lancastrian!

Please email any events with full details and telephone contact number to: chairman@forl.co.uk

Philip Walsh

Chairman
Friends of Real Lancashire

TV

Some things never change on Street

Obviously ITV don’t think we see enough Corrie on the telly as it’s now repeated on ITV3 from the 1980s.

Travelling back in time, Terry and Curly trying to make a bob or two, Alf Roberts is still refusing to spend any money, much to Audrey’s annoyance, Hilda still has her flying ducks.

Not much has changed though as Ken was still sitting at the table just like he does now. Fair play to him, he knows his limitations, does William. He never left to try it in Hollywood.

Anyone remember Brian Tilsley?

Jayne Grayson

Via email

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