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Greyhound Bridge closure, cycling, being vegan, boundary changes, high street shops, railways, future of post, noise, puppy sales, government cuts

Skerton Bridge changed to two-way traffic during the refurbishment of Greyhound Bridge
Skerton Bridge changed to two-way traffic during the refurbishment of Greyhound Bridge

Readers’ letters, September 27

Closure not been so bad

Skerton Bridge changed to two-way traffic during the refurbishment of Greyhound Bridge

Skerton Bridge changed to two-way traffic during the refurbishment of Greyhound Bridge

My own experience of the traffic re-routing in Lancaster to allow for work on Greyhound Bridge was far better than I had anticipated, and not at all similar to your recent correspondent.

Retirement, however, allows me to travel as and when, with no need to drive in the ‘rush’ hour to and from work. I’ve also learnt to avoid the left-hand lane on King Street & Cable Street by using the Edward Street / Lodge Street rat run. (This has been greatly enhanced by the closure of St Leonard’s Gate)

How many other bridges in Lancashire and the rest of the country require similar upgrade work, I wonder?

Banning juggernauts nationally would save the expense, and transport firms could continue their operations using smaller vehicles.

Locally, there was a noticeable reduction in the number of HGVs using Greyhound Bridge when the Bay Gateway was opened.

The original Greyhound Bridge functioned for many years with steam engines pounding across it in both directions. It would appear that its conversion to a road bridge is at the root of its present problems. Meanwhile the 200 year old Skerton Bridge, built for horse & cart transports, continues to provide an architectural gem and a river crossing for all traffic with no upgrade required. And this despite the considerable amount of greenery sporting from between its brickwork.

Gordon Arkwright, 34 Thorpe Avenue, Torrisholme

Cyclists are vulnerable on roads

I write in support of Wendy Dickinson’s letter (Stop riding on pavementm, letters September 13).

While I have sympathy for cyclists who feel vulnerable navigating their often precarious way through a congested highway system, there is no justification for our two (and sometimes three) wheeled friends to encroach upon our pavements.

Neither should they be excused for very deliberately hurtling past dismount signs with flagrant disregard for the wellbeing of pedestrians.

A Cross, Email address supplied

Going vegan isn’t easy

It’s difficult to live a truly ethical eco-friendly life.

Even if one is a vegan, is that person able to ensure all their beauty products are cruelty free?

What about cruelty free medicines? Do they take unnecessary car journeys? Buy too many plastic products? Recycle everything that can be recycled?

Yes, veganism may be ‘in vogue’ at the moment but not everyone will take that final leap and become a vegan. Therefore is it better for us all to take steps to consume less meat and make sure the meat we do eat is free range and humanely killed than for a small minority to go vegan?

Would this be more likely to increase welfare standards?

Another issue – and one which is often neglected by the media and politicians – is palm oil.

In just about everything I buy from a supermarket, palm oil is mentioned in the ingredients. This seemingly innocuous ingredient is actually responsible for much of the destruction of the rainforests.

According to the Independent, in the past 16 years, an estimated 100,000 orangutans have died because of the quest for palm oil. Why?

Because rainforests are being turned into plantations to grow the substance – and obviously the less rainforest there is, the less habitat for animals, such as orangutans, to live in. Sustainable palm oil is a better option or if you can find food with no palm oil in the ingredients then that is better still.

I believe Iceland has ditched palm oil in its own brand products so it can be done.

Surely we humans should start taking responsibility for our home and our fellow beings who live alongside us on planet Earth?

Molly Clare, Email address supplied

MP fails on boundary changes

So David Morris thinks new boundary changes may be undemocratic. May I remind him Lancashire had democratic vote about fracking, we said no to it the government over ruled the vote and went ahead despite public protest. This same government wants the boundary changes and will go ahead even if it means David Morris may lose his job. That’s justice.

C Parkinson, 2 Lupton Place, Lancaster

Internet hits shops

I work in retail and it is incredibly tough as we all know. Branded goods on the internet are killing the high street. It’s the same old story – see a product online, find a shop selling it, go to see it, then buy online it at the cheapest possible price.

We are all guilty of it.

Peelmeister

Email address supplied

What can a train driver do?

On strike... who is? Much coverage again is being given to the guards’ action to protect the safety of passengers on trains.

I was one of them over my 50 years service with the much maligned BR, but I don’t recall, even in steam days, trains being cancelled. OK, sometimes they ran late but surely that is better than none, as it is now.

My last 30 years were spent as a guard and for 25 of those I was branch secretary of the local NUR (later to become the RMT after merging with the National Union of Sea Workers).

During my time on the trains, I had to deal with many incidents. Football hooliganism to and from matches was starting and I had to deal with six life-threatening issues with passengers... even one when a woman was starting to give birth.

Although a driver can open and close doors, what can he or she do in their cab under such circumstances?

Michael Carr, Full address supplied

Post may disappear

I wonder if the postal services will disappear within the next 10 years?

We have direct debit, no cheques and card-only stores opening, will we need stationery items, stamps and greeting cards? I remember red phone boxes at every street corner, police and AA roadside boxes, switchboard offices and sending telegrams to say we had arrived safe at Scarborough on our holiday. Now people send a photograph of the hotel by mobile phone, carried in their coat pockets. I prefer a personal friendly service.

Tarquin Holman, Address supplied

Silence can be golden

As a music lover, I have an eclectic taste, ranging from rock to chamber music.

However, I know I am not alone in hating having it foisted on me. Why does it have to be inescapable in public places?

I first noticed my aversion at an ice hockey match, where the frequent pauses in play are filled with loud music.

This has now been extended to cricket (between overs and wickets), tennis (at every changeover) and many other sports.

Football has so far been spared, though I dread the day when players have to wait for the music to subside before taking corners, goal-kicks etc. Half-time entertainment is fine.

As for the High Street, I love to hear buskers and sometimes pause to listen. But I don’t go into a department store to be greeted by the piped music of Black Lace or even Mozart.

Brian H Sheridan, Address supplied

Curtail the breeding

Banning the sale of puppies and kittens at pet shops is a welcome move, as restrictions on heartless breeders are urgently needed.

Many of the young animals for sale in pet shops or via online adverts come from puppy mills, where female dogs are kept almost constantly pregnant.

They spend their lives in cages, denied socialisation, exercise, and veterinary care.

When their bodies are spent and they can no longer reproduce, they’re often killed. The puppies born in these facilities commonly suffer from diseases because of poor conditions and inadequate care.

But while this new legislation may combat some of the worst forms of abuse on puppy factory farms, it’s worth remembering that it’s irresponsible and cruel for any breeder to continue churning out more puppies or kittens for profit while thousands of lovable and highly adoptable dogs and cats are euthanised in the UK every year for lack of good homes.

Jennifer White, PETA UK, Email address supplied

Elderly hit by closures

A recent programme on BBC Radio 4 dealt with the problem of loneliness and isolation. In an interview, a woman made a very telling comment in that she never took photos because she had no one to show them to.

Wherever you live, the problem is the same – empty shops, banks, post offices, pubs and libraries and reductions in public transport.

These service reductions isolate people, particularly the elderly.

According to Age UK, half a million people over the age of 60 spend every day alone. We ignore this problem at our peril.

John Appleyard, Address supplied