Road risks

I AM writing to you to tell you about my concern with the new crossing point at the new estate in Northallerton.

During lockdown I have realised that it is very important for us to get out of the house to do exercise.

This crossing point will stop me riding on my bike or scooter from my village Brompton to Northallerton.

As a family we regularly go to the library, leisure centre, skate park, visit friends and the fields next to the leisure centre on our bikes.

The builders are building two refuge points to enable us to cross the road safely however, as a family, myself and three younger sisters we cannot all fit on the refuge point, meaning my mum will have to leave two children whilst she crosses with two then will have to return.

Please also know that because of the new bridge, cars and lorries will be travelling down a slope and we all know cars go faster down hills, therefore this crossing is very dangerous.

In a few years’ time I will be going to secondary school and would like to travel on my bike or walk with my friends. This crossing will be a big hazard which makes me feel unsafe.

To fix this, I would suggest that you add traffic lights to the design or even just a simple zebra crossing. I have seen lots of other crossings made a lot safer than this one for bikes and walkers.

Why should cars get more priority than us walkers and cyclists who are protecting the environment?

I look forward to hearing from the highways company and builders what you will do about this.

Jake Patrick Kelly, (aged nine), Brompton.

A personal thanks

I WANT to say a big thank you to Sir Robert Ogden on building the wonderful Macmillan cancer hospital close to the Friarage in Northallerton.

I watched this centre being built as I passed it on my local town bus route years ago, never thinking I would be so involved with it.

Over two years ago, my husband Derek was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer, and was being treated for his condition in the Sir Robert Ogden centre. During his every treatment I was allowed to go and sit with him which was a great comfort to us both.

Even our daughter when she finished work was allowed in to see his progress. For Derek it was very comforting.

The consultants and all the Macmillan staff were absolutely wonderful, we made many friends.

I’ve never walked into the centre without saying a thank you to Sir Robert Ogden for building this, how kind.

Sadly last year my husband passed away, but only after all the wonderful care and treatment at the centre and the Friarage and James Cook. It made a sad time a happy and grateful experience.

I will say again God bless Sir Robert Ogden and love to his family after his passing.

Betty McDonald, Northallerton.

Wind turbines

OVER the past week, this government’s next intended attack on rural Britain has been briefed out to the London media.

Not content with their endless cascade of farming regulations, the unceasing attacks on livestock farming, the eco lunatic re-wilding of 30 per cent of agricultural land (who cares about food production and UK food security – certainly not this government) and their Net Zero Strategy’s plan to make illegal domestic oil boilers from 2026, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak now apparently intend to alter planning regulations to facilitate the splattering of every hill and dale with wind turbines.

They will of course be promising “local consultation” but being the very sophisticated operators they are, they will make no mention of the tens of thousands of birds and bats slaughtered by wind turbines and simply widen the consultation area way beyond those in direct sight and sound of the ever taller and more intrusive windmills and then bombard those thousands of households with a stream of distorted propaganda and dubious promises of “free” electricity.

Although having seen them casually toss aside most of their key 2019 manifesto promises, hard headed country folk will be rightly sceptical of such blandishments (has there ever been a prime minister and a government who have been proven to be more instinctively mendacious than this one?).

A J Gobbi, Bedale.

Plea to residents

I WOULD like to appeal to car-owning residents in Richmondshire to show consideration when parking and not to park on pavements.

The obstruction of pavements causes problems for many residents and has become a significant issue about which I receive a lot of complaints.

This is so frustrating because it shouldn’t be a difficult problem to solve. All people need to do is think about residents who might be in a wheelchair or have a pushchair to manoeuvre. When a pavement is blocked, they’re often forced out on to the road just to get by. That just isn’t right.

I’m sure people don’t intend to make life difficult for vulnerable people so all I’m asking for is a little more thought when parking. Do you really want to force residents from the safety of a pavement and into the road? When you get out of your car, just ask yourself if somebody in a wheelchair can still get through – that’s all it takes.

Cllr Kevin Foster, Richmond Constituency Green Party.


SO Andy Welford suggests that the UK leaving the EU may have encouraged Putin to invade Ukraine, “Poland and Ukraine” (D&S Times letters, Mar 25).

The suggestion could only come from someone who was against leaving the EU.

Andy should remember that the UK may have left the EU but we haven’t left Europe and will always be prepared to assist our European friends in supporting an excellent cause.

Andy should also remember the EU supported the UK in operating sanctions against Russia.

Vice versa, the UK supported the EU therefore we are still working together even though we don’t give them our weekly contribution.

Is there any evidence to support the claim that Russia were involved in the UK leaving the EU?

I’m sure the population of the UK were able to make their own minds up independently unless many of us were intercepted on our way to the polling stations.

If there is evidence it would be useful to hear it.

Mike Taylor, Darlington.

Water queries

I SPOTTED something on my Northumbrian Water bill which prompts a few questions someone can possibly answer.

For those on a water usage meter, there is also a sewage disposal charge, at “X” per cubic metre.

How do you measure toilet waste – quite apart from paying twice for the same liquid!

I understood road run-off pipes were a council responsibility and such water went into becks and the river system not into sewerage system, so how is the water board involved?

To continue with arbitrary charges, based on guesswork rental value is hopelessly obsolete.

Fairness says charges relate to the number in the property.

As councils have enough information to operate a bedroom tax, the same could be used by the water board to cover single/minimum households, and reduce payments from guesswork level, even without a meter in every property.

GB Butler, Stockton-on-Tees.

Blossom walk

WHAT could be more relaxing and uplifting than our own local Japanese Blossom Festival. The provision of a broad avenue through the Grammar School grounds lined with delicate blossom trees and interspersed with benches would give pleasure to many, it could be called the Jubilee walk.

In 1937 the copper beeches were planted in the Applegarth, let us do something similar for future generations too.

Alison Essex-Cater, Northallerton.

Pension Credit

WE have recently seen an increase in the number of people making a claim for Pension Credit. However, as the cost of living increases, there are still hundreds of thousands of pensioners who might be eligible who are not – including readers of this paper. They are missing out on this extra support, which could be worth over £3,300 a year.

I strongly urge anyone who thinks they might be eligible to make a claim – by calling the DWP Pension Credit Freephone claim line on 0800 99 1234, by post or online. Organisations such as Age UK, Christians Against Poverty or your local Citizens Advice Bureau, can also help you to claim.

So, please, if you have a relative, or are caring for someone, help them make a claim. Even a small amount of Pension Credit can open the door to other support including a free TV licence, help with council tax, housing benefit, NHS dental treatment and the Warm Home Discount. This is worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds. And we don’t want your mum or dad, or any loved one, to miss out.

If you’re in any doubt whatsoever, please do take just a few minutes today to check your eligibility. I want everyone to receive the support they are entitled to – and the application process couldn’t be more straightforward.

Guy Opperman, Minister for Pensions and Financial Inclusion, Department for Work and Pensions.

Israeli restrictions

THE Ukraine crisis has sucked the life out of other international stories. This works in the interests of repressive and authoritarian regimes who may have even more skeletons in their cupboards than Vladimir Putin.

While bombs fall on Ukraine, Israel has reinstated the Citizenship and Entry Order that abolishes citizenship rights and entry to Palestinians from the West Bank or Gaza, even if they were born there. This law even extends to the non-Jewish partners of Israeli citizens.

Israel Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked was frank about the law’s intention. She said it was to stop Palestinians returning to their homeland, on the basis they are not Jewish, claiming it was a ‘’victory for a Jewish state and a loss for a state of all its citizens’’.

Needless to say, settlers from other countries and religions face no such restrictions.

As a result Palestinians must make life choices, such as who they marry.

The effect has been to make “foreigners” of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, who are subject to total daily Israeli military control.

In other countries such treatment is called cultural and national genocide, but not, apparently, in Israel.

C Walker, Darlington.

Buses and bio diesel

IF the bus companies began to manufacture their own bio diesel, would they need to pay duty on it? The fuel duty is a purchase and sale tax.

If there was no purchase and no sale this would therefore mean bio diesel manufactured by the bus companies themselves for their own use, would be duty free, would it not?

If the price of the bio diesel became duty free, could we then see lower bus fares?

The local authority is in an ideal position to supply recycled cooking oil through the recycling scheme for the manufacture of bio diesel to the bus companies is it not?

How much used cooking oil is going down the drains of Darlington currently?

More and more local bus services are switching to using electric buses.

Would it not be better to simply start using bio diesel in conventional buses instead if we can? Has anyone conducted an environmental impact study into the manufacture of these new electric buses? Are the bus companies generating their own electricity to recharge these buses? If so, how is that being done?

Are electric buses simply a gigantic green washing exercise?

Cllr Nigel Boddy (Ind), North Road, Darlington.