Speed cameras

THE police and crime commissioner for North Yorkshire, Julia Mulligan states that £1.94m costs were recovered through speed cameras in 2017 (D&S Times, Sept 14).

How can it be good value, for a cost of £2.21m to be spent on a single purpose (enforcement only) aspect of policing, namely speeding?

Had that budget been placed in proper road traffic policing, then maybe drug/drink/disqualified/dangerous/criminal drivers, could be targeted and caught. Cameras will not do that.

How can this be a proper use of public money?

Proper road policing not only works, but it has public support.

Paul Batty, Harmby

Police headwear

THE chief constable of North Yorkshire assures us her force is not set to follow other forces by adopting flat caps (D&S Times, Sept 7). What a pity.

When I joined the North Riding Constabulary in 1958 we wore flat caps. A far-sighted, ex-military, chief constable had recognised helmets were an anachronism and flat caps were more practical and comfortable.

Unfortunately some years later under a later less far-sighted chief constable, whose origins were in the Birmingham force, this decision was reversed and local officers had to wear helmets.

I considered myself lucky because by the time this backward step was taken I had been promoted to inspector and I never had to endure a helmet.

Peter Walker, who wrote the books on which the Heartbeat television series was based, was a contemporary of mine in the local force, indeed we worked together helmet-less in Ryedale in the mid-1960s.

His books were set in the North Riding about that time when helmets were not worn hereabouts. The helmets worn in Heartbeat were therefore a figment of the imaginations of those who produced the programme.

It follows that the chief constable’s determination to preserve the Heartbeat image is misplaced. In her pursuit of "old-fashioned values" she is intent on preserving an image that did not reflect reality.

In any case is there not something rather silly about preserving helmets to reflect Heartbeat when from the neck downwards modern officers on patrol bear no resemblance whatsoever to the officers in Heartbeat?

You report "some rank and file male officers … might prefer caps". I am sure they all would. Let us hope that the force’s uniform user-group reports accordingly. The chief constable should reconsider and introduce flat caps.

David Severs, former chief superintendent with North Yorkshire Police, Northallerton

Stories and scares

JOHN YORKE'S letter (D&S Times, Sept 14) highlights a lot of issues, as usual all the stories and scares that the Green Party promulgate.

They do make some sense but lack a sense of proportion. Fracking is a classic example. It will produce huge benefits both locally and nationally where it takes place without any real proven risk.

That it is fossil fuel is however therefore bad. Sorry but we are going to need fossil fuel for a long time.

Solar energy is great. On a recent journey to Somerset I was amazed at the amount of fields covered in solar panels as you got south of Birmingham. Why isn't it happening more up here? The price of them has fallen in the last two years.

They will work up here as they do on our local roofs, but they do have a carbon footprint in manufacture, so you can't win.

As to transport, when will these groups stop going on about walking, cycling and public transportation. Fine in London, where all the opinions seem to come from.

In a vast area like ours it's never going to be a really viable, affordable option however much you try. Most of the buses run nearly empty. Do they want us to stay in our caves?

As to energy renewables, nobody seems to talk about heat pumps. Go to New Zealand where nearly all the houses built in the last ten years have them providing a lot of free and clean energy.

I know they have volcanic heat but already homes in the UK are getting them. It is practical, it means drilling down to harness the planet's infinite resource of heat but that brings us back to fracking! Sorry.

Andrew Reid, Northallerton

Cracking bins

I HAVE noticed that fellow East Cowton residents' blue recycling wheelie bins now have major cracks now running down the sides of them.

These bins are not very many years old and now look like they might need recycling themselves, never mind the contents inside them.

We have had black and green wheelie bins for years and all look as good as new, so I don't know how much Hambleton District Council paid for these latest blue bins, but I think they need to ask for their cash back.

They are breaking down too quickly. I wonder how many other Hambleton residents are noticing major cracks appearing in the sides of their blue recycled waste bins?

Douglas Hopps, East Cowton

Long, hot summer

DESPITE the upbeat atmosphere of this year's long hot summer, the mood of the mainstream media appears to be somewhat damp.

When will these miserable people just cease their scaremongering about global warming and let us enjoy the weather?

This has been the first nice summer I've seen for a good five years and many people have even compared it to the famously baking summer of 1976.

When I was a pupil at the Allertonshire School in Northallerton, I could never get to grips with why my form tutor abstained from driving.

One day, he explained to me that he didn't want to contribute to global warming. Using the pre-watershed version, he advised me: "If you want it lashing down with rain all the time, you drive as much as you want."

So in the past, man-made global warming caused non-stop excess rain, now we are told the opposite is true.

Besides, is it not reasonable for one to expect to have a nice warm summer after the long harsh winter which we endured?

If anyone reading this believes in global warming then I recommend they take a look at the NASA photographs of the North Pole from 2012 and compare it to the same one from 2013. Whoever does so will see that the North Pole increased – not decreased – in mass by around 60 per cent. Given the fact that this planet has been through an ice age before, I'd say that the weather will basically do what it wants as part of a natural process. I'm afraid that looking at the clear evidence and the inconsistencies from so-called experts, the only thing which is man-made about global warming is the myth of its own existence.

Joseph Lambert, East Cowton

Nightmare journey

LONDON Crossrail a year behind schedule and billions more expensive than first planned.

Long awaited upgrade of services on the East Coast main line with state of the art Hitachi high spec, high speed trains already facing delays due to track problems.

Rail employees (rightly I think) striking in protest at trains operating with the driver only locked in the driver’s can and no back up staff on board to deal with passenger problems or emergencies.

Disgraceful delays and cancellations due to unworkable, chaotic revised timetables.

HS2: the totally unnecessary new rail link, costing billions we can’t afford, ruining miles of the British countryside, knocking down homes and businesses, minimally reducing journey times by a few minutes.

Rail fares the most expensive in Europe (dearer than Switzerland).

Clapped out trains often appallingly over-crowded, unreliable due to delays and cancellations and overall poor customer service.

All on the watch of the out of his depth, couldn’t care less transport minister, The Right Hon. Chris Grayling MP.

For goodness sake, get a grip Chris, sort this mess out or resign.

A recent journey from Swansea to Northallerton should have taken me six hours and 24 minutes. It actually took nine hours and 46 minutes. A nightmare journey. Not a word of apology anywhere and it cost £266!

The railway service in this country is an absolute shambles, and it is getting worse.

N Smith, Northallerton