Market day closures

SOME of your contributors' idyllic views of Northallerton are an illustration of how market day closures of the High Street are perceived by those who don’t live here or have freedom of movement.

They create havoc along East Road and South Parade, the only through route on those days, and entirely remove any disabled parking near to the market. Also, the debacle that’s Zetland Street is rendered useless when you just can’t access it by car.

Northallerton is a junction town with traffic not only visiting but passing through from and to all points of the compass. This creates mayhem, especially at the roundabout in Friarage Street which is now forced to accommodate all that through traffic. One poor lady lost her life at that roundabout recently. Now traffic backs up South Parade as far as the railway station and when there’s a closure of the A1M due to an accident, traffic goes back as far as Lees Lane!

I’ve written to Cllr Caroline Dickinson about this matter and been told that the closures are temporary because of Covid and only up to certain dates but then seem to be renewed at the drop of a hat. Being handicapped, I no longer shop at my favourite outlets, Carricks, Lewis and Coopers even, as I freely admit, Zetland Wine Store, and the various vegetable stalls, because I can’t get parked to access them. One official had the audacity to tell me to park in the Applegarth or the new Treadmills site, entirely missing the point that I can’t walk that far.

Like it or lump it, allowing freedom of passage along two routes through the town reduces the congestion considerably. High Street parking between Romanby Road and Zetland Street allows quick pick-up shopping which I suspect is the real bread and butter of many of the stall holders, especially on those cold and windy winter's days when those fair-weather transient shoppers don’t appear.

As a compromise, access could be improved if the High Street was closed at Zetland Street, which would at least allow that pick-up style shopping, although it wouldn’t touch the traffic congestion.

I understand the County Council highways department now handles this situation, so I hope they pay more attention to their liability towards the disabled and employ people with experience of the real world.

Phil Nesbit, Northallerton.

Town parking

I WOULD like to lend my support to the letter on Northallerton High Street written by Susan Latter, who draws attention to the inconvenience caused by the road closure on market days “Spare a thought” (D&S Times letters, Sept 17).

In addition to this problem, the town suffers from having a more draconian scale of parking charges than towns such as Thirsk and Easingwold.

In the case of Easingwold, there are no charges, and in Thirsk the first hour is free and the second hour is £1.20. In these two towns almost all potential parking spaces in the town centres are made available for parking.

On the last count, Northallerton High Street had some 30 commercial units either to let or for sale. In Thirsk market place there is only one such sign, and in the centre of Easingwold there are none. Does this tell us something?

Hugh Wrigley, Easingwold.

Pedestrians count

A NUMBER of people wrote into the D&S Times last week (Sept 17) about the removal of the motor vehicle restrictions in the centre of Northallerton on market days.

They tended to forget the most important people in this situation, the pedestrians. Just like they were when the public toilets were removed.

The absence of vehicles brought in to reduce crowding while Covid-19 was around is still required, with daily cases in Britain still more than 30,000. The centre was suddenly a safer place for people to walk.

The quality of air in the town centre must be so much better with no slow-moving combustion engine vehicles, making it far more pleasant for shoppers.

We must keep these restrictions to make Northallerton a special place to visit on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Michael Chaloner, Green Party candidate for Bedale at the county elections 2022, Bedale.

Wrong force

I’M not surprised to learn that North Yorkshire’s 101 line has regularly struggled to meet demand (D&S Times, Sept 17), as I know for a fact that this non-emergency police line is in receipt of calls from outside the North Yorkshire police area.

I live in Moorsholm but, if I phone 101 to help a constituent, I’m immediately met with the recorded words: “We’re connecting you to North Yorkshire Police.” Hardly a helpful response when I tell you that Moorsholm comes under Cleveland constabulary. And I suspect other marginal areas fare no better.

After asking the previous PCC several times to sort out this anomaly, I gave up.

Perhaps Steve Turner can do better, thereby reducing the burden on North Yorkshire constabulary and providing value for money to those forgotten second class council tax payers who pay a heavy annual precept to Cleveland Police for a second class 101 service.

Steve Kay (Ind), Redcar & Cleveland councillor, Moorsholm, east Cleveland.

Dr appointments

I WOULD like to encourage readers to relate their own experiences locally regarding face to face doctor's appointments.

My own experience and discussions with friends suggests that locally, the situation is worse than reported nationally.

A combination of interminable recorded messages encouraging you to "go away", an interminable waiting time to get through to the receptionist while you are informed that you are eighth in the queue, followed by interrogation by the receptionist and the possible offer of a nurse or even a doctor telephone call at some time in the future.

An appointment with a doctor might only be available weeks ahead. The chance of seeing or speaking to the same doctor you saw previously, who is familiar with you and your problems, is negligible.

Name supplied, Thirsk.

COP26 summit

I AM concerned that COP26 may not be tackling the major global warming issues.

Top of the agenda should be to agree that no country or company should ever be allowed to mine methane hydrates or clathrate from cold ocean sea beds.

The process would be very simple and once started in theory, would require no energy input. The danger is that the process could become unstable and run away, releasing billions of tonnes of methane into the atmosphere.

With ocean warming this could happen as temperature rise causes flow changes, as happened in the Mesozoic era millions of years ago.

If we covered the earth’s surface with solar panels we would generate a lot of power but also have huge global warming as modern panels are much better proton absorbers than most plants and surfaces. People with solar panels should be encouraged to paint the rest of the roof white.

If we covered the earth’s surface with wind and water turbines and Archimedes screws then we would generate a lot of electricity while cooling both the atmosphere and oceans. This is because the turbines are not 100 per cent efficient so more energy is required to produce the electricity than is returned when it is reconverted to heat.

In the UK we are blessed with winds, the Severn Bore and coastal currents, especially off the west coast of Scotland. We should encourage more use of these resources and install more battery storage.

To keep the lights on, the UK should build small modular nuclear power plants which, although they do not produce carbon dioxide, contribute to global warming.

The ancients in the Amazon and Africa improved the soil by adding chard wood; this is both sustainable farming and carbon capture.

The growing of rice on deserts watered from the seas again is sustainable carbon capture farming.

Solving climate warming will not be a simple matter. It will require governments and all branches of science, engineering, agriculture and the whole population each doing their bit to reverse the temperature rise.

Time is of the essence, let’s hope COP26 takes on the task.

C W Greenwood, East Cowton.

Global warming

REV. Richard Bradshaw says that I think that the climate scientists have got it wrong “A real, urgent crisis” (D&S Times letters, Sept 17).

He is wrong. There is no 97 per cent consensus among "climate scientists" that humankind is responsible for the recent rise in global temperatures. Rather, I think that the politicians who jumped on the climate change band-wagon have got it wrong!

Rev Bradshaw would be better joining me in praying that God guides world governments to ignore the scientists. They are clearly guilty of the sin of despair and the bible warns us of false prophets.

In the same D&S Times issue, Frank Broughton admits that the study of climate change is extremely complex and that scientists do not know whether the rise of CO2 is caused by, or causes, the rise in global temperature. He admits that science does not know what came first; the chicken or the egg. Should governments rely on this science?

However, Frank does not deny that CO2 increases growth, he only despairs that the rise in CO2 will increase growth in the wrong places. Early man was nomadic and moved around following the seasons and food sources.

Is it beyond the wit of man to protect good growing land and to irrigate areas of drought? Perhaps, the increase in CO2 is God-given to allow man the chance to survive the cyclical and therefore temporary rise in temperature.

At a time when the provisional wing of Extinction Rebellion are sitting on motorways, it may be the right time consider whether our Government is taking proper care of those who follow them.

If a child of mine was arrested for sitting on the motorway, charged and bailed only to be re-arrested for doing the same the next day, I would well within my rights to query why he has not been detained for his own safety under the Mental Health Act.

They are clearly a danger to themselves and other road users.

Alastair PG Welsh, Aycliffe Village.

Winds of change

WE all have opinions and it would not be normal if they were all alike, more so about major events and controversial subjects like climate change.

Even with all the technical data that is available, it depends largely how it is individually interpreted to suit differing opinions.

Let us imagine that our country complies with every form of data to alleviate the damage we are supposedly doing to the earth, which in turn is supposed to be causing climate change, surely it would be futile to think that it would make any difference globally and be conceited to think it would?

It is important to remind the self-appointed saviours of the planet that any pollution produced by each country is not their sole property but is generously shared by us all.

Very few countries take any notice of us anyway, it is only when they are in trouble or holding their hands out do we appear the be in favour, even after all the human sacrifices we have made in the past, for example in two World Wars. We are generally first to help in any crisis worldwide, alas we still seem to command little if any respect.

Trevor Mason, Swainby.