Readers View

The proposed view of Hipperholme crossroads from Leeds Road, Hipperholme
The proposed view of Hipperholme crossroads from Leeds Road, Hipperholme

I have used Hipperholme crossroads several times a day for the last 40 years.

There used to be severe problems with this junction but the last scheme put right about 95 per cent of the problems and it has worked remarkably well since, but there are still small improvements that could be implemented to ease traffic flows and avoid the costly idiotic proposals that are currently being considered.

Current proposal:

l This will be the final nail in the coffin of the shops on what is currently a pleasant and convenient parade. It was stupid enough to impose the proposed charges for parking opposite (Increasing the cost of a pint milk, loaf of bread, takeaway etc.) but to exclude parking outside the shops will just make them uneconomic (but when did any council understand economics?) and close them down. I have no vested interest in these businesses but would be sad to lose them.

l There isn’t currently a problem outside rush hour and school pick up times so all journeys between Halifax and Leeds (and vice versa) outside these times will lengthen as it’s bound to take longer to navigate the proposed ‘magic roundabout’ and lights.

l During rush hour people travelling between Halifax and Leeds (and vice versa) will not arrive one second sooner at their destinations even if you accepted, as I do not, that the proposals made the traffic quicker, as the delays at Stump Cross, entering Halifax, Red Lion (as was) traffic lights, and Wyke lights mean that their queues will just become longer.

l The scheme smacks of political manoeuvring by local authorities to get their grubby little hands on developers money. The questionable development is a separate issue.

l Introducing pedestrian safely issues are just a red herring. It’s perfectly safe to cross in all directions with the current set up. I do daily and have never once thought it any less safe than any other road crossing.

l As I said earlier the new/current arrangement works remarkably well coping with the five roads coming into it. The one thing that would improve it is to have a brief, say 30 second, filter for traffic from Leeds turning right up Denholme Gate Road and right towards Brighouse when coming from Halifax. It would stop us all turning once the lights have already gone onto red as we all have to do now at busy times.

I have not spoken to one single person who thinks that this a good scheme. No-one who uses the junction or lives in the locality could possibly understand how anyone other than some ‘remote planner‘ could come up with such a ridiculous proposal. crossroads

Last scheme did help solve some of the problems

Richard Walker

Via email

Scheme would not work

Neville Buckley

via email

Further to your article re the above scheme, I too went to the church to view the scheme. I too was dismayed by the absence of any plans to resite any of the traffic lights , especially the ones coming down Denholmegate Road, whose present placement right on the corner positively encourages drivers to go through on red. The reason? To speed up through-flow when the lights change.

And what, I asked, about the throughflow for drivers wanting to turn right on to either Leeds Road or Wakefield Road from Brighouse who were denied the time to move by the speeding vehicles coming down the hill? Response - silence!!

Dissatisfied with the discussion I had with the representative, I asked my daughter, a professional HGV class 1 and 2 driver, to assess the scheme from an HGV drivers point-of-view, especially as the Council official seems to set great store by companies outside Calderdale being able to get to their destinations faster. Her opinion? The scheme will not work as there are too many acute turns in rapid succession leading to REDUCED travel times as lorries etc struggle to make the turns in the small space allocated.

The response from the official to whom she spoke was that “it had worked on the model”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As Clugstons have a vested interest in the scheme, I suggest that the model may not be all that relevant to the real-world situation.royal mail

Shares were sold too cheaply

Peter Judge

Tofts Grove Gardens, Rastrick

With the privatisation of the Post Office (aka Royal Mail), the great country I grew up in, in the 60’s and 70’s, is no longer recognisable. Instead, not only have we gone back to the 1930’s in terms of failed economic policies; but also created yet another completely artificial market to set alongside the energy “market”, telecommunications and broadband, private water, private “public” transport, and “competition” in the NHS!

Presumably the privatisation took place simply to raise a bit of cash to artificially reduce the “deficit”. The cost is that an essential industry will no longer be responsible to the people (through parliament); but will only be responsible to a few fat cats wishing to maximise their profits.

And what is worse, is the ineptitude of the “Demolition” government in selling off Royal Mail at only a fraction of its true value!

I am totally opposed to privatisation, but if it must happen, then it should be done to maximise the return to the true owners, the people of this country; and not to the fat cats of the stock market. Therefore, in selling off the shares in the company, this should have been done in tranches of, say, 10 per cent at a time. That way, it would have been clear that the price asked for the shares was far too low, and so the next 10% could have been offered at a higher, more realistic, price.

The government must learn this lesson if they do intend to sell off the banks we own and East Coast railway. Of course, I would prefer that we retain these assets in public ownership; - and give us, the ordinary people, real power in them by enabling their staff and customers to be elected to the boards of directors.

halifax library

What a difference a week makes

Councillor Chris Pillai

Rastrick

What a difference a week makes! I think it was the late Harold Wilson who said that ‘a week is a long time in politics’.

How true that statement was. In fact, today, with its 24 hour media coverage, you could almost say a day or even an hour is a long time. Certainly over the last two weeks we have seen two markedly different approaches to life in Britain.

In Brighton, Ed Miliband’s labour party demonstrated that it has yet to learn the lessons from its last period in government. Speaker, after speaker, promised greater and greater spending, if they were in government once more. According to Treasury officials this would mean Labour borrowing £28bn. that is the equivalent of £1,000 for every family in the country.

Whilst I am sure their list of good causes is well meant, their actions can only mean more misery for those of us who have to meet the cost. Greater borrowing means higher interest rates or increased taxes; higher interest rates mean greater misery for mortgage payers across my ward; increased taxes mean less money in the pockets of hard working people in the Brighouse area. Is this really the way forward to a brighter, more prosperous future?

Compare that with David Cameron’s Conservatives in Manchester.

In Manchester George Osborne gave a clear indication as to the direction he wishes to take with the nation’s finances, if he is still in Government after the next election. Calling it a Serious Plan for a Grown Up country, which would create jobs, keep mortgage rates low and let people keep more of their income free of tax.

Whilst labour ran a deficit in the boom years, and left Britain unprepared for the bust, Conservatives will aim to spend less than they raise in taxes, in the next Parliament, provided the recovery is sustained. they will also ensure that capital spending grows at least in line with GDP.

“By following these two principles,” he said, “we will build a stronger economy for the future and avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.”

Like Osborne I am aware, for the sake of hard working people in my ward, we need to get the Government’s finances stable, so that individuals can benefit from the opportunities that follow. People need to know that the sacrifices they have made over these last few years will be worth it and that we will not return to the days of spending what we have not got, for that, as Mr Micawber would say, will bring us “misery.”

Here in Calderdale, the labour administration are hell bent on the same mantra of spend, spend, spend, this time on grandiose schemes such as the new Halifax Library and the Piece Hall, whilst struggling to control council spending and increasing our Council Tax. At the same time as they are borrowing even more money to fund these schemes they cry the poor tale when it comes to supporting community facilities such as Elland Baths, or road safety schemes in Clifton, or Sure Start Centres in Brighouse. maybe we need the same financial restraint here in Calderdale as the Conservatives are showing in Government.