Letters from this week’s Lancaster Guardian.
Stagecoach do your bit
Can the bus companies help?
Lancashire County Council is proposing to reduce the subsidy they pay to private companies for buses.
Instead they’ll focus on maintaining services during the daytime and ensure the county’s most vulnerable people can access public transport.
The council proposes to invest a further £500,000 in dial-a-ride services to ensure community transport providers have the capacity to cater for those most in need.
The plans will look to save £3.8m over two years which would see funding withdrawn for evening and Sunday services that currently receive council subsidies.
The proposal would see subsidies withdrawn from 72 evening and Sunday services from May 2014.
The county council is facing an unprecedented financial challenge, needing to save £300m over the next four years due to funding cuts by the Tory-led Government.
These cuts won’t only affect bus services but will include massive reductions in county council staff and cuts to other services due to the Local Government Minister Eric Pickles’ attack on local democracy.
Eighty per cent of bus services in Lancashire are run by private companies on a commercial basis because they are profitable. The remaining 20 per cent are currently subsidised by the county council.
Last year Stagecoach, the area’s major local bus operator, reported an increase in underlying profits to £218 million for the year to April, up from £202.5 million a year earlier.
The bus companies have done well out of our district. They must have or they wouldn’t still be here. Now is the time for them to give something back. I call on Stagecoach and other bus companies to take a slightly smaller profit and maintain as many services as possible (all?) without a subsidy for the benefit of our community.
Were they to do so the bus companies would gain lots of friends in the Lancaster/Morecambe district.
Appalling for us
I have sent the following to both the city and county councils:
I am appalled at the lack of concern the councils have for people living in rural districts. We, who live in the villages in the Lune Valley, have very few facilities and have to travel to places of recreation or even visit the doctor or hospital. We need transport. Not everyone has cars.
It is as though you are trying to make rural villages into open prisons and not allowing us out in the evenings or on Sunday. The idea is just terrible.
I know savings have to be made but there are more ways of killing a cat so, maybe, the council needs to look into ways of making money to save necessary services. What about using the two magnificent town halls to raise money by renting areas not in regular use to people who would pay for their use? Manchester Town Hall does.
Please do not cut us off from civilisation.
Full address supplied
Rural area will be hit
I am writing to voice my concerns about the proposed cut in subsidies to many bus services across the county.
I appreciate that the current central government is forcing local authorities to make ever more savings and I would not like to have to take these decisions.
However, I feel that cutting bus services is not the way forward when we need to conserve fuel in the light of peak oil.
In my view, what is required is more and better public transport, not less.
People need to be encouraged to use public transport rather than cars.
Having fewer bus services, especially in rural areas, is likely to increase the number of cars on the roads and/or to mean that some people become isolated, particularly older people and those on low incomes.
The Freehold and Ridge number 10 service particularly affects me but I understand that there are a number of other services likely to be affected both in Lancaster and across the county.
I hope, therefore, that Lancashire County Council will reconsider.
Name and address supplied.
Further loss to our planet
The deeply unimaginative, unnecessary Northern Link Road that’s about to start ploughing its dismal way through our local countryside is just one miniscule example of what’s happening on a monstrous scale worldwide, at this very moment.
Our precious planet is being consumed by sheer greed, bit by remorseless bit. Ask any older person you know about the nature they’ve seen disappear under tarmac and concrete since they were young.
We’ve hypnotised ourselves into believing that it’s a really positive thing to keep on building, building, building.
Keep on truckin’!
The irony is that this very belief will be our ultimate undoing. Get ready for more wild weather folks.
Tour to pay respects
Between Monday, June 2 and Saturday, June 7, I will be leading a group from the North of England to attend events in Normandy to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings and the Normandy Campaign in 1944.
There will be an opportunity to pay respects to a relative at the Commonwealth War Cemeteries and Memorials as well as attending special ceremonies in Caen, Bayeux and the landing beaches.
We will also visit significant areas associated with the Normandy Campaign.
En route we will visit Bletchley Park where the Enigma machine was used to significant effect in the campaign.
We still have a few places left and convenient local pick up points can be arranged. I will be happy to supply details to any readers if they contact me at 2 Eden Gate, Warcop, Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, CA16 6PL, or telephone me on 017683 41060 or 07710 270640.
Rejoice at building
May I be allowed, through your pages, to thank all those responsible for securing the construction of the M6 Link Road.
When completed it will be an ornament to the city and a boon to all those who desire to drive their vehicles along its much awaited route.
At a recent meeting of the British Union of Master Motorists (BrUMM), it was declared that this road is a desirable first step in the improvement of traffic flow in the area.
BrUMM will now continue to agitate for the construction of the additional western route, the closure and demolition of Greyhound Bridge, the closure of Skerton Bridge to motors, along with the construction of proper 21st century river crossings to carry traffic in an unimpeded fashion around the city. Whatever the cost it will be money well spent.
Your correspondant of December 26, A Brook’s sympathy for the people of the area is unrequired as the majority of road users rejoice in the knowledge that sense has prevailed and that the ends very often justify the means.
A Brook and those few but vociferous opponents of the road who very smugly think themselves correctly informed would do well to heed their own advice but rather than “live nearer to existing trunk roads” to migrate themselves to where there are no roads or traffic and where they may live in sweet repose without the desire to impose their luddite views upon others.
President, British Union of Master Motorists (BrUMM)
Vegans offer fresh start
Anyone who has not already made their New Year resolution may wish to consider adopting a vegan diet.
Not only will it mean that no animals are harmed to produce the food they eat, but it is also very good for human health as vegans suffer less from cardiovascular disease, obesity and certain types of cancer. It’s the ideal way to counteract the gluttony of Christmas.
I would also urge anyone who has pledged to give more to charity to choose only those that do not conduct tests on animals. A list of these, as well as information on going vegan, can be requested by calling Animal Aid on 01732 364546.
The Old Chapel
Support each other
I suffer from fibromyalgia and would like to hear from other sufferers and/or their carers. My aim is to start a local support group covering Lancaster and Morecambe.
In the first instance if people could email me at firstname.lastname@example.org we can perhaps arrange a first meeting.
Comments are bit rich
Once again Coun Mace warns of Lancaster City Council setting a politically motivated budget (Politically motivated, January 9).
It really is rich that he continues with this line of criticism when his own Chancellor, George Osborne has set a series of politically motivated budgets at national level.
Let the party which is without stain cast the first stone.