Free Press readers have their say on the subjects that matter to them. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Why stop a park and ride bus service which takes cars off busy roads?
I use the park and ride service every weekday and have therefore been interested to read the various articles on the service closure. I was frankly appalled by the comments by Peter Davies that you included in the article that appeared in yesterday’s edition (DFP, February 7). Whilst I may not agree or support the decision that has been made, as I feel it has not been properly considered on merit and that neither the service provider nor Doncaster Council have ever had any intention of operating this service as a park and ride should be run, I found the comments made by Peter Davies unacceptable. I cannot believe that someone who has previously held public office feels that it is reasonable to refer to the users of this service as ‘rich car owners’ who he feels are in some way trying to avoid paying what he considers to be the proper fare to travel into Doncaster by bus. I would have thought that even Mr Davies would have realised that the whole premise of a park and ride is that people will use their cars to drive to the site and then take public transport into the town/city centre – the clue surely is in the name. Whilst I completely appreciate that decisions to suspend bus services are not taken lightly, and often has to come down to budgetary restrictions, it is not a true reflection of the facts of the matter to say that the 55 service provides an adequate alternative service to anyone who uses the park and ride. Clearly whoever is citing this as a suitable alternative has never had to rely on this service, or indeed ever travelled on it. Whilst it is timetabled to operate a service every 10 minutes, that has not been my experience. It is not an infrequent occurrence to have to wait for 40 minutes for one of these services to arrive, particularly when trying to make the return journey from the Interchange to Rossington, and when I complained to First in the past have been told that they are not responsible for late running of their services. As someone who works for a transport provider I find this staggering and it certainly does not fill me with confidence that they have any intention of, or desire to run, an efficient service on any of its routes in this area. It is also not an express service and can take more than double the time to make the journey to/from the Interchange. I would happily pay the same fare applicable on the 55 service to continue to use the park and ride, but as a hard working tax payer (certainly not the rich idler that Mr Davies appears to consider I am) I can ill afford to pay that amount for a service as unreliable as the 55. I would have thought that it was the duty of all local authorities to invest in providing efficient and sustainable transport services for its residents – why is Doncaster Council closing a service which takes cars off the roads at busy times and which serves an area which is undergoing as much development as Rossington? A forward thinking and intelligent decision it is not – perhaps then I should not be surprised that the decision is endorsed by Mr Davies.
Ann Davies, Doncaster
Vital for community
In response to the article on budget cuts that appeared in the Doncaster Free Press on January 23, I would like to correct a number of inaccurate and misleading statements made by Lynne Coppendale, a campaigner for Save Doncaster Libraries. The Wheatley Community Library opened in April 2012 in the Hepworth Centre in the grounds of Kingfisher School, and is run by a group of volunteers called the Friends of Wheatley Library. In the 18 months since opening, visitor numbers have increased, more volunteers are working at the library, and opening hours are now 18 hours a week. The Hepworth Centre is not a ‘hut’, as described by Ms Coppendale, but a vital community building offering a range of extra facilities including internet access, a photocopying service and special activities for children. Our thanks go to the staff of Kingfisher School and the officers of Doncaster libraries for their ongoing support and assistance. Perhaps if Ms Coppendale cared to revisit her local community library, she would have discovered these facts for herself. Perhaps, if she really wanted to help keep libraries open, she will consider becoming a volunteer. Come and meet us - we’re open most days!
Steve Sherratt, Chair of Friends of Wheatley Library, Thorne Road, Wheatley Hills
Why bother with it now?
In response to Ed Milliband (DFP, January 30), why is it now that his party is out of Government that he is determined to fight for Doncaster? What was wrong with doing it when his party was in power? We had a Labour dominated council. We had a Labour Government. What great changes and improvements did we see in Doncaster in those 13 years? Nothing. Doncaster stayed one of the most deprived towns in England and unemployment in Doncaster actually went up during the 13 years Labour was in power. The same goes for his pledge to freeze energy prices and sort out the market. It was rising under Labour so why did his party not sort it when they were in power? Ed and his party are just as bad as Dave and his. They simply care about headlines now instead of caring about our country when they govern it.
William Shaw (UKIP), Grange Farm, Old Denaby
Why waste so much?
How I agree with Veronica Clark’s article on waste food stolen from shop bins. Why can’t these supermarkets offer the food free to the homeless or anyone at the close of business each day? I have heard of food being delivered to homeless institutions in other towns; I am sure M25, the homeless place here in Doncaster would appreciate it. These sell by/best before dates are responsible for mountains of good food being thrown away. We managed perfectly well before sell by dates were invented. I know people who will bin food as soon as the date on the food decrees it so.
Jenny Wanless, Wheatley
Stand up for our elderly
I read about, and was involved in, the interview/protest on the closure of all seven of our care homes in Doncaster, and in particular the one in Cantley - Plantation View. Page 12 of the DFP on January 30 shows the protest, and then you turn over the page, where there are several articles including one on how Doncaster is leading the way, and was a pilot scheme for, the Alzheimers and Dementia Society. As this was apparently a great success, they are ploughing £1 million into the scheme and the borough is now one of the areas nationwide rolling out the scheme. Plantation View at Cantley is an E.M.I. home, specialising in dementia, where the staff are dedicated to providing excellent care to its residents. Every single person with dementia requires individual care as no two people with dementia are the same. They cannot just be moved anywhere. This is their home, like yours and mine. Most of these people would not survive a move. This is the only dementia home in Doncaster. This Government thinks they can do what they want and it’s up to the people of Doncaster to stand up to them and be counted. Our elderly, mentally infirm relatives are being thrown out of their homes. It’s just not good enough. If we can’t stand up for them, who can? Join in the protests and make them see we are not going to stand by and watch this happen.
Mrs M Kitchen, Pine Road, Cantley
HS2 is a bad idea
Can we put a stop to the overly expensive HS2 before it totally ruins this country? Is there no common sense left in our ruling body of Government? This monstrosity of a train will out mode - shut down - the other north-south railways and at a great cost to everyone, or become a dinosaur itself and all the Government will say is “oh, sorry” and then continue as if nothing has happened, as they usually do when a mess is made. There is no denying a mess will be made as some have before.
Mr G Parker, Grove Place, St James Street, Doncaster
Promises are broken
Re: Working party and the closure of care homes. On reading the Free Press last week, does the Mayor and her Deputy, who is of course the chair of said working party on the ward boundary changes, think we are some kind of idiots, with them both stating that everything is above board and creditable? Well, how out of touch you are with the people of Doncaster. Most of us know you wouldn’t know what to do if both your butts were on fire, so the only persons you are deceiving are yourselves. With a vast majority of members in the chamber you can take any trash to the full council meeting knowing full well that it will be accepted by your fellow cronies. Moving smartly on to the closures of care homes, what happened to the Labour manifesto promises, after being in charge for nine months? Where are the changes that said people would see improvements made? In fact things are certainly getting worse and we don’t want to hear the old sob story that it is the government’s fault. Thousands of employees took a pay cut nearly two years with a promise to safeguard their jobs yet 1,2000 jobs are destined for the scrapheap, so what happened to the promises to the trade unions? They could understand if the council was run by Tories, but you keep saying that you are a caring Socialist Party. And not forgetting the town’s three MPs - where are the objections from them? As normal all keeping quiet and out of sight until all the furore is over. Don’t come seeking my vote any more; I am now, like many others, never voting again.
W Jacobson (ex-voter), Aintree Avenue, Cantley