Motor vehicles

WITH reference to Daphne Clarke's letter (D&S Letters, Feb 14) concerning the lack of forward thinking as to power required for the 2032 banning of all petrol, diesel and hybrid cars.

I also feel that this area has not been thought out properly, for instance what about all the job losses in the motor industry ie petrol forecourt staff.

The worldwide oil industry is going to suffer massively due to lack of demand.

There are thousands of jobs in the classic vehicle industry in manufacture, and distribution of vehicles and parts, the transporting of goods of all types is going to be a slow process also, due to HGVs having to stop and recharge their batteries.

The government are saying that we must clean up the atmosphere, but how much pollution do shipping and aircraft contribute?

Why must we be the ones to suffer when other countries around the world are blatantly ignoring all the calls to change?

Public transport is being cut back dramatically and getting more expensive yet the powers to be tell us to stop using cars and use it.

There also appears to be a law for the heads of state and government ministers in that they like to use large expensive vehicles and private planes and helicopters for short journeys but the rest of us are told what we can and cannot drive.

CP Atkinson, Great Ayton


WITH the effects of plastic pollution well documented, I don’t know which is worse – reading about Richmondshire District Council’s sluggish pace of progress regarding plastic usage (D&S Times, Feb 14) or the article directly next to it about an educational visit to “boost life lessons”.

The next generation is photographed showing each child clutching onto a plastic bag!

Rosalind Radonicich, Richmond


I AM amazed that Alan Graham (D&S Letters, Feb 14) was surprised when he found the hospital A&E was more than overflowing, some patients having waited for many hours. That experience is typical.

Perhaps he has not seen the TV reports of patients waiting, waiting and waiting on trolleys in hospitals, while ambulances were queuing, queuing and queuing to discharge patients into the hospital.

The NHS is in a dire state, and it is not confined to A&E.

Getting a GP appointment is likely to take days and weeks, while a hospital one weeks and months; and try to get a home visit from a doctor.

This is not the fault of NHS staff.

The Government’s lack of funding is entirely to blame for this, and the consequential pain and suffering of patients.

Were it not for the sheer dedication and hard work from NHS staff, the NHS would collapse altogether.

It is they who enable hospitals and health centres to function, despite the Government.

Every year, Government tells us how much is being invested in the NHS, especially in terms of more doctors and nurses, but things don’t get better, they get worse.

Ministers will parrot that we have an ageing population needing more care and resources.

Did they really not expect or anticipate that?

The Prime Minister tells us much money is now going to be invested in the NHS.

He can chant all he likes in cabinet meetings, but I will believe it when I see it, and I don’t believe we will see it in the near future.

Let us also remember that even if what he has promised comes to fruition, the NHS will be in no better state than it would have been had the level of funding prior to 2010 continued.

In other words, we will simply be back to where we would have been had the Government not slashed funding.

Then there is HS2. I wonder how many of your readers feel they might benefit from this at all?

The present estimate is £100bn. It will take at least 20 years to complete.

I suggest the £100bn will prove to be a gross under-estimate.

There is simply no solid evidence to support all the wide benefits that the Government claims.

Without the concept of collective responsibility, I wonder how many ministers truly support it?

Of course, they will be long out of office before the truth is revealed.

So there we are. Our immediate health improvement or a questionable railway sometime in the future?

Mervyn Wilmington, Harmby, Leyburn

MPs sacking

I AM sure most people, regardless of their political persuasion, would agree that Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith has been shamefully treated by his party.

Despite working hard to help facilitate an agreement in Northern Ireland he has been sacked seemingly on the say-so of one individual who MPs appear to be afraid of speaking out about. If this is the case it is a worrying indication of how this country is being governed.

Graeme Cunningham, Ripon


AT a time when mental health is highlighted by tragic events, isn’t it terrible the amount of pain and mental trauma one person can cause another.

The musical chair actions by one partner suddenly deciding to change to another new partner without any warning or reason, can be catastrophic and life changing to the one left behind numb and hurt and can take a long time to mend, if ever.

Life is about living, not causing unnecessary harm. Kindness to one another not misery and pain. Age has no barrier – 20 or 70.

Think about your actions before hot headed temper and bad moods take over.

Talk about your problems, don’t make them worse as it could make a world of difference to those who love and care and avoid unnecessary breakdown.

Name and address supplied

Hospital transport

IN December 2018 I wrote a thank-you letter for the excellent care I received during a five-month months hospital stay in both the Friarage and James Cook.

This year I had to go for five weeks on a daily trip to James Cook for radiotherapy treatment and, on the recommendation of my consultant, I used the free transport services offered by the NHS.

Every day either ambulance or volunteer drivers picked me up and helped me into the car to take me to hospital for the hour long trip to Middlesbrough. I often shared the journey with others – the drivers were always cheerful, chatty and very caring.

On the rare occasions when I travelled alone with my drivers I complimented them on their dedication for doing this service.

I was told that they often had grumpy passengers who complained about this service and did not like the fact that others were transported at the same time.

They also had quite a few passengers who never thanked them for the help they were given – free of charge.

At this point I would like to mention that we are so lucky in the UK to have this excellent service provided for by volunteers and the ambulance crew – a lot of countries expect patients to provide their own transport.

I would like to recognise the wonderful dedication and care of my drivers and all the others whom I did not meet.

They helped myself to cope with some of the fears I initially had and cheered me up with conversations during the long daily trips.

Ursula Bussey, East Witton

Climate change

THE recent severe weather that produced flooding throughout Britain is yet another warning that we have a climate emergency.

When are we going to see major action to reduce flooding and storm seas?

We must prepare for these occurrences to be every winter with greater frequency.

It is well known how these problems can be reduced but we hardly take any action to deal with them. Put leaky dams in the hills and peat bogs. Use sea shores to work with the tides and waves.

We also know that the severe weather is due to climate heating (it is more than warming) and again it is known that this could be reduced by stopping the burning of carbon-based fuels yet we have to wait years for these actions to be carried out.

The individual can take action, which is useful, but it needs worldwide action to get really significant results.

In Britain, we are fortunate that we have massive potential to generate renewable energy. Markedly increasing the number of wind turbines on the land. Building tidal barriers in bays. Have solar panels on south facing roofs (when did you last see newly built properties having panels?).

As well as reducing global heating we could be healthier if we stopped polluting the air.

Michael E. Chaloner, Secretary of Richmond Constituency Green Party


I'M delighted Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland MP, Simon Clarke, has been given the job of Northern Powerhouse minister.

His appointment should give the Tees Valley the maximum opportunity for investment as Boris Johnson's "levelling up" policy unfolds.

Unfortunately for Simon, however, around 2017, the Northern Powerhouse blew a gasket and has been running on low speed ever since. It urgently needs a complete overhaul to get it moving full steam ahead again.

For Simon, a native Teessider, his new appointment is a bit of a poisoned chalice.

Other ministers, with less focused portfolios, can fail to deliver but still get re-elected.

But, the nature of Simon's job means he must succeed and locally.

For me, success is, at the very least, a flourishing free port and the revival of manufacturing capacity along the banks of the Tees.

Steve Kay, Redcar and Cleveland councillor

Ireland bridge

BORIS JOHNSON has decided to promote the building of a 30-mile long bridge from Scotland to Northern Ireland.

After the Nexus decision to award the supply of new rolling stock to a foreign company rather than Hitachi, I wonder if he will follow suit and award this contract to a foreign company with steel supplied by China or India. Or will local companies such as Cleveland Bridge and British Steel again miss out?

And will this be another Boris fiasco like his £50m wasted proposal to build a Garden Bridge over the Thames when he was Mayor of London?

Brian Fiske, Darlington

Customer loyalty

IN YEARS gone by a firm would go out of their way to look after customers and keep loyal customers for years, these days I find the opposite with insurance and energy firms, you can guarantee the price has gone up from the previous year.

Bring back the good old days.

GO Wright, Sadberge

Waste bins

TOP marks to the children in Reeth for writing to the council to request more bins (D&S Times, Feb 14).

It prompted me to have a theory, although I must put my hand up and confess I failed O Level physics, but then so did a lot of people with Nostradamus for a teacher.

Having seen evidence of lack of bins on rural rambles my guess is that while gazing out of his laboratory window pondering on his theory of general relativity, Einstein spied a dodgy dog walker in the park opposite.

Thinking himself unobserved the dog walker swiftly disposes of his bag of dog do up the nearest tree. Eureka! Quick as the speed of light squared Einstein has his famous equation, Energy (dog walker) = m mass (bag of dog do) times c speed of light (bag travels into tree) squared.

That is my strong belief and as we are all too well aware ignorance never stopped anyone having strong beliefs or writing about them.

M. Eason, Darlington