Traffic chaos

ON Friday, November 18 there were long queues coming into Northallerton, especially from the north.

I joined the queue just north of Strikes Garden Centre on my way to a hospital appointment.

After 20 minutes I had reached Standard Way and decided to turn off and park there and walk the rest, judging this to be the quickest way.

I was late, as were other people in the outpatients department.

After my appointment I investigated the delay and found it due to the north side of Quaker Lane being closed to traffic.

Three-way traffic lights controlled the High Street and two way traffic on Quaker Lane.

Obviously no one had thought this through. Merely closing the eastbound lane would not have required traffic lights, just a short diversion via the High Street, Friarage Street and Stokesley Road. Traffic on the High Street could have moved normally and very few people would have seen a minor inconvenience rather than a few hundred who all between them will have wasted hundreds of litres of fuel and hours of time.

To add insult to injury there was no obstruction on the north side of Quaker Lane apart from cones. On the footpath there were a couple of small sections with a barrier. No one was working and there were no vehicles parked. The whole chaos was, therefore, completely unnecessary.

Who decides where and when to install traffic lights and what training, if any, do they receive?

Who monitors their decisions to see that the roads are closed appropriately?

From whom can I claim compensation for wasted fuel and time?

Chris Johnson, East Cowton.


I DO wish some people who write to the D&S Times would do their homework before going into print.

I refer to a letter entitled “Show some respect” from Robert Carter of Brompton, Northallerton, (D&S Times, Nov 18).

As secretary of the Hillsprint Hambleton Football Combination (HHFC) which plays its fixtures on Sunday mornings, I can advise Mr Carter that when games are played on Remembrance Sunday a two minute’s silence is recommended to be observed by both teams, match officials and supporters prior to kick off as a mark of respect to the fallen.

If clubs wish to amend the kick off time to suit with local remembrance service arrangements, the league allows this (as was the case with the Kirklington v Jolly Minister, N’ton game).

The league also allows their military-based clubs to postpone their scheduled remembrance day fixtures so that their personnel can quite rightly undertake remembrance day duties.

To say there is an absolute and utter show of disrespect and contempt for the men and women who have given their lives is an insult to the players, referees, club officials and supporters who have relatives and loved ones whom they wish to remember prior to kick off.

Ian Richardson, secretary HHFC, Brompton, Northallerton.

Nurse training

SOME years ago, the grade of State Enrolled Nurse was abolished in the UK. We stopped two-year on the job training for SENs in the UK.

Ironically, we hire in SENs from abroad mainly sourced from Ireland and from the Caribbean, as agency nurses. We then treat them as if they are State Registered Nurses.

This is costing a fortune. Why not simply start training SENs in UK hospitals once more?

Can young people from the UK go to the Irish Republic, train as an SEN and then come back to work in the NHS as agency nurses? How absurd would that be?

Councillor Nigel Boddy (Lib Dem) North Road Darlington.

Fuel prices

WHY is petrol always so much dearer in Northallerton than anywhere else in the area.

It is even cheaper on the A19.

Reading recently in the press that Asda had bought 132 Co-op filling stations, as we have two Co-op filling stations in Northallerton, hopefully one or two of these may be taken over by Asda.

Maybe we can look forward to cheaper petrol. I live in hope

S Dennis, Northallerton.

Planet's future

A ROCKET named “Artemis” is on its way to the moon and the news tells us that soon we humans will be able to live there.

Meanwhile, the COP27 conference in Egypt has drawn to a close with some international agreement.

As scientists promote more travel in space resulting in more damage to our fragile planet every time a rocket is launched, the chances of keeping control of rising temperatures in the next few years becomes more remote.

COP27 ended with promises to help pay for the loss and damage to poor countries most affected by climate change; but where will the money come from if in fact, it is ever paid?

Surely, the billions of pounds spent on space exploration would be more beneficial if it was used to help to preserve life on earth.

We need all our top scientists to use their brains to find ways to help our struggling planet to have a future.

What do we choose – an amazing world of natural beauty, nurtured and protected for our children and great grandchildren, or an airless, barren, lifeless wasteland like the moon?

Helen Robson, Harmby, Leyburn.

Taxing issues

I HAVE just listened to the Prime Minister state his view once again that our dire financial situation is due to the policies of Liz Truss.

They certainly did not help but I believe that the Prime Minister deceives himself if he thinks that we did not have a huge problem when he ceased to be Chancellor.

It was right that he should help the worst-off people during the pandemic but it would be interesting to see where the bulk of the money ended up, whether it was PPE procurement, furlough scheme or eat out to help out.

I would have thought that as human beings we all have the same basic needs, so why did he to some degree choose to support the better off more than those already on the breadline?

Certainly, those with the deepest pockets would be able to take advantage of the eat out scheme. The help that needs to be given needs to be targeted to those with the greatest needs, or the country will be bankrupt.

He has now abandoned his scheme to provide money to fix social care, which was also tilted towards the better off.

He intended to collect increased National Insurance contributions from people who will never own a house or have other assets, but collect nothing from those whose income includes rents, dividends, interest or capital gains or who are retired, when they were the most likely beneficiaries of the scheme.

He needs to fix the social care problem if the NHS is to survive but he needs to come up with a more equitable proposal. Only time will tell.

David Law, Melmerby, Ripon.

Road priorities

IT is an absolute scandal that local Conservative and Lib Dem councillors have totally neglected the road network around Harrogate for more than 30 years.

In October 2015, county highway officials recommended a new western and northern bypass to help to alleviate Harrogate's congestion problems.

With thousands of new homes having been built over the years, if a new ring road was needed in 2015, then it’s certainly needed in 2023.

Yet whenever a new road is proposed, Conservative and Lib Dem councillors reject, block and oppose any new proposals.

If elected as Masham and Fountains councillor onto North Yorkshire Council, I will make improving the neglected road network in the Harrogate district my top priority.

I will call for the immediate construction of a new northern ring road for Harrogate! It would benefit every resident of Masham, Ripon, Boroughbridge, and Pateley Bridge and the whole Harrogate district, allowing those with appointments at Harrogate Hospital to travel to them without sitting in stationary traffic along the severely congested Skipton Road.

Christopher Barker, Harrogate, ReformUK candidate for Masham and Fountains by-election, North Yorkshire Council.

Autumn statement

CHANCELLOR of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt made his Autumn address to a packed house last week.

He had warned the public to expect a lengthy period of ghastly, wallet-busting Conservative austerity and oh boy did he keep to his promise.

There were so many embarrassed red faces in the Commons they could have helped solve the heating crisis in one fail swoop.

It was like going back in time – 12 years of Tory austerity followed by even more austerity.

Of the few bright moments, the Tories' promise on pensioners' triple lock had to be honoured, especially after they'd already conned the old dears out of their free TV licence.

The elderly will shortly realise the extra lolly they receive in one hand will be swiftly taken away from the other with a host of conniving stealth taxes.

Jeremy Hunt's sleight of hand even makes Houdini look like an amateur.

Covid and the war in Ukraine are the excuses usually trotted out. But it was the Tories and the Tories alone who crashed the economy, making pretty damn sure you're going to get less bang for your buck for much of the foreseeable.

Stephen Dixon, Redcar.

Football turn-off

THE beautiful game, how I hate that expression.

The World Cup is being played in Qatar, a country with very little history in football. Apart from human rights and other issues, the World Cup is being played in the wrong season and in heat.

Why is it being played there? Because of money.

Then we have our domestic football, where most players cheat at the drop of a hat, dive at the least contact, pull shirts, wave imaginary cards at the referee and every corner is like a free for all.

Then we have the England game, with Mr “politically correct” Gareth Southgate, announcing that all his players will take the knee.

We have a captain, Harry Kane, whose goals mostly come from penalties, and who, without the ball, runs around like a headless chicken. I have never seen him fully challenge a goalkeeper yet.

Leave politics out of football and no, I won't be watching.

Thomas Ball, Barnard Castle.

High prices

THERE is a section of the public who can still remember when everything was rationed during the Second World War. The way things are today is similar, just without the ration books. The prices are so high people cannot afford them.

GO Wright, Sadberge.