NETWORK Rail is planning major changes in the local train service between Huddersfield, the Colne Valley and Manchester Victoria.
At present, local trains from Huddersfield stop at Slaithwaite, Marsden, Greenfield, Mossley, Stalybridge, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Victoria.
In order to accommodate six fast trains each hour between Leeds and Manchester, the planners want to remove the stopping train and have one fast train stopping at each station each hour.
This will result in a loss of connections to neighbouring communities along the line and mean commuters having to use the less convenient station at Manchester Piccadilly.
In addition, it will be virtually impossible to get a seat on the trains which do stop – they are already overcrowded on each journey without the additional local passengers.
We need the trains to connect between the communities along the rail line on each side of the Pennines. Our present train service helps to bind us together and encourages local tourism in the South Pennines.
Instead of trying to put a ‘quart into a pint pot’ the sensible thing would be to enlarge the existing four ‘fast’ trains an hour to six coaches and provide a much-needed additional stopping service between Manchester and Leeds.
Network Rail should be looking to improve capacity on the route for both passenger and freight services by adding additional tracks and re-opening the disused rail tunnels at Standedge.
The proposal to run six express trains an hour between Huddersfield and Manchester without any extra track capacity also means the end of the campaign for a new station for the people of Golcar, Longwood and Milnsbridge, which the Labour Party has been campaigning for over several years.
Clr Hilary Richards
I HAVE been shown a survey form which Kirklees, jointly I believe, with one of the Local Health Authorities/ Boards, has circulated to a selection of homes.
It consisted of several pages of questions and tick boxes the general theme of which seemed to be to seek out what we think about these authorities today and their effect on our lives. It is bigger and more intrusive than the recent Census return!
Questions asked include such things as:
Will we seek to use more public transport in the next five years?
Under what arrangement do we occupy our homes?
What is our income, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation?
And even a ‘do we feel happy’ question.
We asked ourselves, in these days of financial constraints, how much does all this cost? Not just the direct cost of the company contracted to carry out the survey, but the costs to council (us the tax payers) of the hours which Kirklees officers will spend mulling over the results, producing reports, presentations to councillors and no doubt press releases to explain it all.
Contrast this with recent Examiner stories about street lights being turned off or removed to save money, and reduction in Colne Valley train services.
Where is the joined-up thinking that which might enable those who wish, in the next five years, to increase their use of public transport facilities?
In conclusion I began to wonder if our opinion really matters anyway since the majority of decisions seem to be guided by forces beyond the control of our council and the wishes of its tax payers. Think only of Lindley Moor in this respect.
WE heard the sad news about the death of our very dear friend Una Pearce.
My wife and I first came across Una many years ago at Slaithwaite Leisure Centre, where she was ‘working’. She made us feel very welcome and from that day forward she became a very dear friend.
Una always had time to give a thought and a kind word, never ever refusing. She was a kind and considerate lady, and anyone who met her could not fail to have been impressed by her unstinting enthusiasm. She was very well respected all over the Yorkshire and surrounding areas. Una was always working on various charitable causes to raise money with no thought for herself.
A tireless worker, a charismatic woman, and dearly loved by all. RIP Una.
Alan and Elaine Berry
LEWISHAM Road in Slaithwaite is a nice little road spoiled by the parking.
We have lived here nearly 10 years. Admittedly the parking for residents has improved over the last couple of years with the introduction of permits – but there are a number of problems that have yet to be addressed by Kirklees.
These include the bollards at the top of the street on the side now used for parking. Numerous cars have been damaged on them.
I suggested to Kirklees that they now be moved to the bottom of the road and they put double yellow lines instead of single to stop the horrendous double parking that goes on at the bottom.
Kirklees says that would be too expensive and they don’t see that there is a problem.
The double yellow lines next to the Co-op are too long and could be shortened to allow another parking space.
Cars park on the pavement at the bottom. Pensioners and people with prams have to walk in the road because they can’t use the pavement.
Every resident’s car at the bottom of the road has been damaged by vehicles trying to squeeze through the tiny gaps left by inconsiderate parking. My wife’s car was away for four days at the body shop last year because of this.
In a normal working day (worse on Saturday mornings) there are upwards of 20 cars an hour parked illegally here. They even park there when there are spaces available in the bayed area!
Traffic wardens, on the occasions they work the area, tend to warn people rather than issue tickets.
The new parking detection van would be ideal in Lewisham Road. Park it on the end of New Street pointing up Lewisham Road for a week and they would be able to afford another!
Lewisham Road Resident
Labour and Green Belt
I SHARE Donald Robinson’s concerns (Mailbag October 17) about the possible sacrifice of Green Belt land in the name of development.
Although it does have a degree of legal protection, Green Belt is not sacrosanct and it can, in effect, be redesignated at the stroke of a bureaucratic pen. I’m afraid, though, that Mr Robinson draws the wrong party-political conclusions.
The Thornhill Estates proposals were submitted in response to the 2008/9 LDF consultation – a time of Labour Government and a Labour-controlled Kirklees with nary a Conservative in sight.
‘Recent Government legislation’ is not an issue here, although I and others would argue that there is a need for new legislation to bolster the defence of the Green Belt.
Having checked the ‘Jobs and Homes’ leaflet which Labour claimed every Kirklees household received in 2009, I see the official 2008/9 (Labour Government, Labour controlled Council, remember) LDF proposals included 3,600 houses to be built on Green Belt.
Housing density varies, of course, but a generally accepted figure is about 45 houses per hectare. 3,600 houses would consume 80 hectares of Green Belt.
The 2008/9 LDF proposals also spoke of about 100 hectares of Green Belt to be used for industrial development. 50 hectares of this is slated-in for an area near to Mirfield’s Three Nuns pub and, as far as I am aware, does not include the Mirfield 25 scheme off Slipper Lane. So, long before the present Government took office, KMC had designs on at least 180 hectares of the Green Belt.
I have already expressed the view on these pages that what we need is a comprehensive plan for the Šredevelopment of brownfield land first and foremost, and that we should do our utmost to protect the Green Belt.
This is not so much a party-political issue, (although Labour certainly cannot be trusted). It is a matter of local democracy.
Clearly a word
AT my grand-daughter’s school in Station Road, Lepton they encourage pupils to expand their knowledge and use of English by the use of WOW words.
As I understand it, if a pupil uses and understands a word which is perhaps new to them or the class and expands or improves the individual or collective understanding of what is going on in the world around them they are rewarded by the equivalent of a pat on the back.
In a recent Newsnight on TV, various MPs were interviewed. The word ‘transparency’ was used so much that by the end of the programme I was fed up of hearing it. Nevertheless, if fully understood by the users, it is a welcome addition to the political vocabulary, so well done to all.
Listen out for it next time an MP speaks.