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M6 lorry crash, hosepipe ban, noisy children, towpath cycling, robots, summer water fun, country walks

An overturned lorry caused chaos and delays on the M6 at junction 31
An overturned lorry caused chaos and delays on the M6 at junction 31

Readers’ letter, August 2

Yet more ‘fake news’ recently thrust under our noses from the World Wide Web and beyond. This time from Lancashire Constabulary no less following the recent unfortunate accident and subsequent closure of the M6 due to severe bridge damage.

They were very quick to pat themselves on the back doing a great job claiming to 
be undertaking welfare checks and supplying water to motorists stuck in the M6 gridlock.

This was clearly not the case.

My daughter was one of the hundreds of people trapped between junction 33 and junction 34 southbound for the best part of six hours with no offer of help whatsoever, contrary to several tweets from our boys in blue.

When she eventually made it to the exit slip road at junction 33, no doubt, like many others desperate for the toilet – you guessed it, she was offered a bottle of water (kindly donated by Asda).

I am told (and also reported by the BBC) that traffic management was appalling and at times non-existent at the Hampson Green roundabout.

Well done Asda, you tried your best.

We all know police funding budgets are cut to the bone, however shame on you Lancashire Constabulary. In future no more ‘fake news’ please, just tell the truth even if it hurts and admit for once this time you messed up.

John Clarkson, Forgewood Drive, Halton

Hosepipe Ban

It was very good of David Morris MP to point out that disabled people can be excluded from the hose pipe ban by registering with United utilities.

It’s just a pity he didn’t show the same concern when he voted for cuts to welfare benefits for the disabled.

Christopher Parkinson, Lupton Place, Lancaster

Noisy children

We are appealing to all parents of younger children – please stop your offspring from screaming.

We can’t go into supermarkets (trapped at the till between two screamers), relax in a café (down our coffee quickly to escape a screamer) or enjoy our once peaceful garden (abandoned due to uncontrolled screaming from next door).

The parents make no effort to keep these children under control. They have no thought or respect for the lives of others. No or stop are not words used in their house. The rest of us having to suffer the consequences. We are worried about our health and sanity.

A recent article in the national press revealed that two thirds of UK households are blighted by noisy neighbours, putting the majority of people at risk of mental illness, stress and depression.

The article suggests voicing your displeasure to the noisy neighbours.

What – tell them that their perfect little princess is a loud-mouthed nightmare?

If parents took control of their children instead of the children ruling the parents then maybe everyone, everywhere could have a quiet life. Here’s hoping.

Name and address supplied

Towpath cycling

Towpaths are a wonderful facility enjoyed by many – walkers, joggers, strollers, cyclists and often by people simply finding a nice quiet spot to sit and relax.

Most rub along nicely, however cyclists appear to have different agendas.

Cyclists bumbling along, cyclists on mountain bikes, cyclists on road race bikes. On the canal at Woodlesford, we have cyclists who commute into Leeds at pace. The common denominator is speed and towpaths were built for the opposite of speed. I believe barges went at one mile an hour.

Nobody really enjoys any form of restriction. However, I personally believe the towpath experience would benefit greatly by a speed limit that provides a level of safety for all.

Brian Turner, Address supplied

Robots

The UK and the West in general is facing several major challenges, including globalisation, global warming, the robotisation of work and mass migration.

Few people, beyond some Italian and Corsican village leaders, who have used migrants to repopulate their half-deserted villages, have any constructive ideas beyond building walls to keep them out.

How will we cope with the mass redundancies caused by robots? Will the capitalists who finance this “progress” share their profits with the unemployed? I doubt it, if history is anything to go by. Anyway, how will the capitalists sell their products to incomeless people?

Robots demand energy, as do many of the labour-saving devices that we use every day. This still comes from problematic fossil fuel sources, one of the major causes of the greenhouse effect.

Facing real challenges

John G Davies, Address supplied

Hosepipe ban

As United Utilities becomes the only water company in mainland UK to introduce a hosepipe ban during the longest heatwave in 42 years, I would like to know where the millions of litres of water comes from that is used for (wasted on) fracking.

If we are all restricted in our use of water or face a £1,000 fine, shouldn’t fracking in the Fylde area at least be suspended?

This really serves to highlight the fragility of our precious water supplies in the North West and the vulnerability of our groundwater reserves to contamination through fracking.

The River Wyre is already topped up by water from the Lune via a pipeline as the Wyre cannot sustain its normal non-drought water abstraction requirements.

The Government tells us that the fracking industry must follow strict guidelines to prevent contamination but so must United Utilities yet it didn’t stop water supplies to 700,000 people being contaminated throughout the summer of 2015.

Imagine seeing images of empty reservoirs combined with unusable contaminated underground supplies, it wouldn’t just be gardens and car washing that would be restricted (for years not weeks) and Cuadrilla saying “oops, sorry about that” would hardly be adequate.

Fracking is abhorrent on so many levels.

Ian Hughes, Morecambe

Summer water fun

With the school summer holidays underway and the continuing, unusually warm weather, I am writing to request your readers’ help in saving young peoples’ lives.

Over the last couple of months there have been a number of tragic drownings in quarry lakes, reservoirs, canals and other man-made bodies of open water.

All too often these tragedies occur when people are engaged in what they perceive as harmless fun, either cooling off in the water or playing near the water’s edge.

Man-made water bodies like quarry lakes and reservoirs can be extremely deep, have sudden changes in water depth, be difficult to exit and conceal a range of hazards such as pumps, entangling weeds, rocks and old machinery. The water in can also be extremely cold, even after a long hot spell.

At 15C and below, the body can experience cold water shock when immersed in water, this results in a sudden, involuntary inhalation of water into the lungs which can be deadly. The cold water can also cause even strong swimmers to tire quickly, become breathless and potentially disorientated.

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) is supporting the water safety campaigns being run by the RNLI and other organisations such as the RLSS and the Fire and Rescue Services ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign. Collectively, we do not want to discourage members of the public from enjoying the water but would like people to be aware of the risks and choose to swim in areas that are safe.

Please also remember that warning signs and fences are there to help protect you and your family.

Elizabeth Clements, Mineral Products Association, Gillingham House, Gillingham Street, London

Country walks

I recently set off with a friend for a short walk that incuded a footpath I had walked once or twice before.

About 25 minutes into the walk, we were confronted with a stile into a field of chest-high rape that all but obscured the course of the path and meant a fight with the crop.

It had clearly been planted across the footpath and it was left to me to clear the path as far as I could with my insubstantial walking stick – a machete would have been more useful.

Half an hour after starting what should have been a five or 10 minute walk across the rape crop, we reached the next field boundary with no sign of a stile but instead a broken wooden fence of some antiquity topped with barbed wire.

Nevertheless, we made our way to the nearest road then continued our journey despite the heat and very little clue as to where we actually were on the map.

Isn’t it time we had a clearly understood legal framework that recognises the responsibility of the landowner for maintaining any footpath running through their property so that it is passable (possible exception for the presence of a bull)?

John Baker, Address supplied