Street closure

AS I run a town centre business in Northallerton I applaud the local council’s continuation of the High Street closure on Wednesday and Saturday market days.

Introduced as a temporary safety measure to allow market traders a socially distanced return after last year’s lockdown, the closure has transformed market days into a quiet, safe and cleaner shopping experience for visitors.

With no traffic congestion between the traffic lights, pedestrian crossing and roundabouts, pollution levels have decreased significantly, making for pleasant shopping across the High Street and safer trading on the expanded market.

In particular, the area around the Zetland Street junction has taken on a carnival style atmosphere on Saturdays, becoming a pedestrianised, family friendly zone with music entertaining visitors at both Dolcies and Cornish Gallery street cafes with families wandering peacefully across the recently widened footpaths.

None of this would be possible if the closures end, as is being considered I understand at the end of September.

Of course, this is Northallerton and some established businesses apparently consider the interruption to their midweek deliveries caused by the closure more important than the overall positive experience of visitors, businesses and market traders.

Unfortunately, this typifies the antiquated attitudes of some town centre businesses which, rather than embrace a more progressive and flexible approach to retail post-lockdown, would rather complain about minor interruptions and press for a return to the congested, polluted and unsafe market days of the past. With car ownership growing exponentially, are two safe, quiet days each week too much to ask?

Northallerton market and subsequently the town centre is gaining a great reputation for a safe shopping experience because of the closure of the High Street.

In time, visitors will learn where to park on a Wednesday and Saturday without restrictions or time limits on the High Street and may even stay longer. I implore the relevant authorities to retain the market day closures which make Northallerton unique in North Yorkshire market day experiences.

In the words of Martha and The Vandellas: “Summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street.”

Gary Lewis, Betterdaze, Northallerton.

Global threat

IN response to Alastair Welsh (D&S Times letters, Aug 27) and in particular his belief that 100 per cent of scientists believe that climate and global warming are cyclical, I would suggest that 100 per cent of a group of scientists may have this belief but certainly not the majority of scientists.

In two months, world leaders will be meeting in Glasgow for the COP26 conference which has been organised to discuss climate change.

It seems hard to believe that so much importance would be attributed to this issue if it was not a real threat to our world and its inhabitants.

In a recent report, top scientists have said that some of the damage caused by climate change is irreversible, but they certainly did not state there was no hope for the future.

Extinction Rebellion does not speak for everyone who cares for this planet. I still believe that for the sake of future generations it will be worth us all, not just political leaders, considering changes in our ways of living.

Helen Robson, Harmby, Leyburn.

Climate facts

ALASTAIR PG Welsh says: “I believe that 100 per cent of scientists believe that climate and global warming are cyclical... also science has failed to prove any nexus between the increase in CO2 and extreme weather events” (D&S Times letters, Aug 27).

These are, as he states, his beliefs. If he wishes to see the reality, he should read the IPCC sixth Climate Assessment.

A very good presentation about it can be found on YouTube.

I believe the scientists who are doing their level best to present facts need to allow people to see these figures collected in some cases from data proven over thousands of years. Then people can make up their own minds.

There is no denying climate change is largely due to the actions of humans since the first industrial revolution – and is accelerating rapidly at an alarming rate. There is no point in ignoring these facts – and denying them is irresponsible.

What do we say to our children: “We knew this was happening and believed in people like Mr Welsh – rather than scientists who have access to the facts”?

And we already have 30 degrees and over in the UK with the hottest temperatures ever now constantly increasing.

Steve Crighton, Yarm.

Time for action

IT’S difficult to know where to start in addressing the inaccuracies in Alastair Welsh’s letter “Climate cycles” (D&S Times letters, Aug 27).

Starting with his totally unfounded claim that “100 per cent of scientists believe that climate and global warming are cyclical”, it would be more accurate to say that all genuine climate scientists (as opposed to internet charlatans) believe that the current rapid rise in global temperatures is man-made and not part of any trend on geological time scales.

Mr Welsh then goes on to state that population growth is the cause of all other problems. True, curbing population growth is a major challenge for humanity, but the vast expansion in carbon emissions over the last two centuries has been fuelled not so much by population growth as by industrialisation and the developing consumer lifestyles of modern economies.

As for rising CO2 being good for world food production, perhaps he should tell that to the farmers in Australia, Africa and the Americas facing ruin due to prolonged droughts caused by the changing weather patterns induced by climate change.

Mr Welsh proceeds, via a cheap jibe at David Attenborough (who must have done something really bad to annoy climate change deniers so much) to claim that “Climate Extinction” (I think he’s referring to the Extinction Rebellion Movement) say it’s too late to take action on climate change. This is exactly what they’re not saying.

Extinction Rebellion’s campaign in London and elsewhere during the past week has been carried out precisely as a wake-up call to warn open-minded people that it’s time to take urgent action before it’s too late.

Frank Broughton, Brompton-on-Swale.

Negative attitude

REGARDING your article “Residents resort to DIY repair ‘danger’ weir”(D&S Times, Aug 20), it is good to see our residents in the village of Great Ayton have more concern for the local area than the supposed powers that be.

Some time ago I read an article in the press that said that farmers/landowners were responsible for field and land drainage and that the Environment Agency were responsible for rivers, but it seems that a small job which was an accident waiting to happen was not big enough for them. Are they only happy playing with their Tonka toys as at Stokesley?

After back-heeling responsibility for the weir, they have the nerve to say nothing can be done without their permission due to risk of flooding or damage to the local habitats.

Surely when they supposedly inspected the damage, it must have been realised that returning the weir to normal has not caused any problems in the past several years so what could change now?

As we are a tourist village, this kind of attitude from all agencies concerned is negative and just not good enough.

CP Atkinson, Great Ayton.

Dignified service

I WAS surprised to read the criticism of Darlington Crematorium “Service distress” (D&S Times letters, Aug 27).

Last week I arranged and attended my mother’s funeral in the Victorian chapel at the cemetery site.

My family found the chapel an appropriate and dignified location for our final farewell.

The chapel is atmospheric, well lit, clean and well suited to a private family funeral – the positive feedback I received from those who watched the webcast confirmed this view.

The removal of the coffin from the chapel to the hearse after the committal was in no way undignified, and the whole service was professionally managed by the funeral directors and our celebrant.

Steve Wilson, Northallerton.

Passing the buck

REGARDING the article about North Yorkshire County Council’s “vow to crack down on utility firms for failing to restore roads” (D&S Times, Aug 27).

Before pointing the finger, put your own house in order first NYCC Highways.

Certainly, the by-roads throughout the county from the Stokesley area to Northallerton, reference Bullamoor for example, see little or no maintenance by NYCC, nothing to do with utility works, with potholes now becoming craters.

Having worked alongside North Riding County Council “gangs” in the 1960s who maintained and reinstated all aspects of repair to the highest possible standards, I have a reasonable amount of experience of what is required to make good a road repair.

After watching first hand in Black Horse Lane, Swainby to Hutton Rudby one day NYCC Highways workmen filling a huge line of potholes full of water with tarmac, this is not to be recommended, there was no keying the edges, no emptying or cleaning out and no tar based adhesive preparation before the tarmac fill. Not surprisingly this lasted less than a month.

When I asked the workmen involved “what on earth are you doing” the toe curling reply was “as we are told”.

So, NYCC Highways, the utility companies road reinstatement may not always be 100 per cent because as you should know there will always be over a period time an unavoidable degree of subsidence, but for you to blame others for your lack of standards is not acceptable.

You may be able to bully the utility companies and contractors but we, the public, have the right to express our concerns as it is our vehicles which suffer the unnecessary extra wear and tear caused by this never ending pothole problem.

In conclusion, what on earth do we pay our road fund licence for?

Trevor Mason, Swainby.