Bus changes,Eden Project, festive shopping plea, Barton Road green space, meat tax, social care needs money, poor rail services

Passengers are coping with Stagecoach route changes in Lancaster and Morecambe
Passengers are coping with Stagecoach route changes in Lancaster and Morecambe

Readers’ letters, December 13

The proposed changes to the No 2 bus service for January 13 will have a big impact on the people of Skerton.

Many pensioners from Skerton have come to rely on a bus going from Owen Road then along Torrisholme Road to get into Morecambe, but under the changes that will no longer happen.

The availability of a shiny new double decker bus going along Scale Hall Lane instead will not help them.

We propose an adjustment to the new timetable, with a 2A single decker service going along Torrisholme Road and under the railway bridge every half an hour and alternate that with the double decker 2 bus going along Scale Hall Lane.

As councillors we support the increased use of public transport to reduced CO2 emissions.

We have written to Stagecoach to ask them to not force people back into their cars because there is no suitable bus to get them into Morecambe.

As we all work towards the development of Eden Project North we must show just how green we can be.

Couns Rob Devey, Peter Rivet and Jean Parr (Skerton West), Abbott Bryning, Janet Hall, Robert Redfern, Mandy King and Sandra Thornberry (Skerton East)

Be ready for big changes with Eden Project

I doubt whether I am the only person who has misgivings of what may happen if the Eden Project comes to Morecambe.

If, as predicted, it brings thousands of visitors, then the town must be prepared for a great, and in many ways, uncomfortable and permanent change.

Here in the Lake District, which now has a 12 month season, we can hardly move for traffic and visitors.

It has become, at times, intolerable. Everyone agrees Morecambe does need regeneration.

If the Eden Project does come, surely it needs to be sited away from the centre of Morecambe? There is space and better access on the outskirts of town, but still on the bay and shore line.

Roger Hartley, Burneside Road, Kendal

Bus changes are big loss to passengers

I was interested to read the letter from R Crowther in the Lancaster Guardian (November 29). I received a reply on December 1 from Michael Sanderson of Stagecoach, in which he wrote that the company aimed to increase the number of passengers travelling and that this seemed to be happening, with passenger numbers in Bare and Torrisholme being up slightly on the last weeks of the old service.

It is, though, early days, he said, and they would continue to monitor the results of the new service. If it leads us to carrying fewer customers, then they would reconsider their decision.

I assume this means that Stagecoach want to hand over more money to their shareholders, at the expense of the convenience of the residents of Bare.

When I used to travel to Lancaster on Tuesday mornings, the No 4 was often full. I recently travelled to Lancaster on the No 1, but as I pointed out to Mr Sanderson, had a much longer walk (aided by my two walking sticks) to a bus stop.

On the return journey all the front seats on the No 1, downstairs, were occupied, except for the rear-facing one, which did not have easy access to a bell. A fellow passenger kindly helped out. I am not hopeful.

P Salkeld, Monkswood Avenue, Morecambe

Go easy on the staff at Christmas

I would like to wish your readers a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. For many this is always an exciting time, but we know it can be frantic trying to get everything ready for the big day.

I want to gently remind your readers to remember that shop workers are people as well. They will be working really hard to make your shopping experience as stress-free and enjoyable as possible.

A recent Usdaw survey shows that every minute of every day another shop worker is verbally abused, threatened with violence or physically attacked.

Shop workers tell us that incidents are more frequent throughout the Christmas and New Year period when shops are busier, customers can be stressed and are more likely to take out their frustration on staff.

Talking to our members who work in retail, I know that verbal abuse cuts deep.

Many will go home after a shift upset about an unpleasant incident that took place at work that day and worried that it will happen to them again.

That is why Usdaw, the shop workers’ union, is running a Respect for Shop Workers campaign, asking customers to ‘Keep your Cool at Christmas’.

It’s a simple message, but remembering that shop workers are working extra hard at this time and treating them with respect will mean that everyone can have a happier Christmas.

Paddy Lillis, general secretary, Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (Usdaw)

Loss of a green space at Barton Road

The idea of putting a huge metal fence round the Barton Road playing field is shocking.

This well-used, well-loved green space, surrounded by trees and hedgerows will be ruined.

We have already lost the amazing panoramic view of old Lancaster (as seen from across the river), to the monstrous Caton Court building.

I am not against student accommodation as such, but who passed this skyscraper design? The image of this building in last week’s Guardian was described as ‘changing the city’s skyline’. This should have read ‘ruining the city’s skyline’.

Does no one in authority ever consider the aesthetic value of a space, or view anymore?

Liz Mills, Lancaster

Turn sights on chemicals not meat

I see that the control freaks are at it again, this time wanting to put a tax on meat.

These unbelievable people are claiming that such an imposition could prevent 222,000 deaths a year and save over £30bn in care costs.

How can they possibly produce such figures on the basis of their research when there is an infinite variety of people and a wide spectrum of diets and reactions to diet?

The World Health Organisation targets processed meats and then says even unprocessed meats are “probably” cancer-causing – not a very precise statement to support these apparently precise figures.

Reading the labels of many processed foods other than meat reveals a bewildering array of apparent chemical ingredients which must be more suspect in health terms than a piece of fresh natural meat properly cooked. This is where the WHO should turn its fire.

Peter Horton, address supplied

Need to plug the social care cash gap

Your readers may have heard recently of the £240m of extra money being allocated to the social care system to ease pressure on the NHS this winter. We now know this will mean that just over £7,186,253 will be made available across Lancashire.

While it’s important that the Government has recognised that social care underfunding lies at the heart of our hospitals’ winter pressures, the amount committed is a let-down – less than 10 per cent of what’s needed to fix the social care crisis now. The social care system is ‘not just for Christmas’ and people with dementia, as its biggest recipients, are experiencing the emotional and economic cost all year round.

To actually turn the tide for the 16,280 people with dementia across Lancashire, we need to plug the current funding gap and offer them the chance to access the good quality social care they have a right to.

Tara Edwards, Alzheimer’s Society Services manager for Lancashire

Poor service rubs in salt for rail passengers

I am sure many regular rail users in our district will be annoyed at the 3.1 per cent rise in rail fares that will be put in place in January.

It needs to be pointed out that rail fares have grown faster compared to wages which have fallen in the past ten years. It is people who are being penalised for using the rail network, many of them rely on rail travel to get to work. If you evaluate the standard of customer service in the past year, as well as the standard of management, I don’t think many regular rail users will believe this rise is justified.

Rail users have had to contend with a substandard service due to inconsistency, lack of customer care and botched timetable alterations.

We have seen customers having to contend with intermittent cancellations, with feeble excuses and also a severe lack of seating on most trains causing situations where there is overcrowding to a level where healthy and safety is compromised. It is clearly all about profit before the needs of the customer.

It is apparent that Chris Grayling, Secretary of State for Transport, has a lack of empathy with rail users because there is very little evidence to suggest things will improve.

David Whitaker, Marine Road West, Morecambe, Coun Harbour Ward, Labour Group