It will come as no surprise to anyone that when articles appear in the Echo about Hipperholme crossroads the local reaction is immediate.
On November 20 under the headline “Cash blow for crossroads” it is said that there are concerns that funding from the Department of Transport could be withdrawn and that some money has already been returned to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.
I’m certainly not concerned. The pinch point funding, if not already withdrawn, is out of timescale and in any event would be refused by the council.
Councillor Barry Collins (Lab, Illingworth and Mixenden) says that Calderdale will be the only local authority to have this funding withdrawn.
Oh dear, Kirklees and Stoke councils have also taken this action.
Further, Coun Collins (Illingworth and Mixenden, remember) says: “You can imagine how damaging this will be for the council’s reputation nationally.”
Well no I can’t actually. I’m rather proud of a council that listens to local people and takes decisions accordingly.
I care not one jot what the sneering classes at Westminster think of Calderdale, if they even know where it is.
In a further article on November 27 headlined “Traffic pollution up for council discussion”, Coun Collins (who lives in Skircoat) says: “The European Court has ruled that Britain is in breach of its obligations to reduce air pollution, leaving councils like Calderdale at risk of major financial penalties”.
Where to start on this? What does “councils like Calderdale” mean?
It means every council that has traffic congestion, so that will be every council then.
The European Court also ruled that all EU countries were in breach of these regulations, not just Britain, so that’s a few more councils added to the list.
Further there is an estimate that 90 people a year are dying prematurely in Calderdale because of air pollution. Really? They must be sweeping them up off the streets in London, Paris and Rome.
Of course we should be doing everything we can to tackle this issue, but technology and national planning will take care of some of this.
I’ve just bought a new car (new to me at least) which switches off the engine when stopped at traffic lights. Toyota have just launched an all electric car.
This is the future of air pollution.
Finally, to get traffic off the roads, electrify the Caldervale line and build a station at Hipperholme.
Permanent, big picture solutions, not just petty sniping around the edges.
By Councillor Colin Raistrick (Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, Ind)