LETTERS: Comet, October 17

THE letters in the Comet on Thursday, October 17

SIR - I was amazed that you printed the letter from “Jay Ryder” on September 26.

This is clearly a fake letter under a pseudonym. He/she does not even possess the number of brain cells required to balance on and propel a bicycle forward at the same time. Sadly, I too have witnessed PCSOs walking on the cycle track and cycling on the pavement so this issue is clearly not a high priority. They could also warn the brain dead idiots who walk across the busy bus station, especially the ones with walking frames.

The police are notorious for not moving their bottoms until something actually happens. Their motto is not “prevention is better than cure.” Perhaps ‘Jay Ryder’ would like to comment on how they would feel if their own small child was struck down by a cyclist in an area where it is clearly unsociable to cycle when the shops are open or maybe they would like to make an equally sick comment on recyling issues under the pseudonym “Dusty Bin.”

Steven Sheehan


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SIR - If Tony Wood (letters10/10/13) thinks the paths running alongside the cycle path are so wonderful then he is welcome as far as I’m concerned to cycle along them.

When he encounters the bumpy, broken and ill-laid slabs and he flies over his handlebars a split second after forming the phrase “perfectly good footpath” in his head I promise I will try to resist the urge to snigger.

Karen Norman

Address supplied

Route row

SIR - I write today regarding the closure of Six Hills Way in Stevenage. For those not familiar with the town this road is a major thoroughfare through Stevenage, it is a main bus route and its closure has caused traffic problems on surrounding roads and great inconvenience to the residents of Stevenage.

The road was closed in July for maintenance work to a small bridge which was to last eight weeks. As is usually the case this estimate was extremely unrealistic with the contractor soon increasing the deadline to mid October. However, the new traffic information signs put up around the town at vast cost now state Six Hills Way will remain closed until mid November.

I am unfortunate enough to have to pass these roadworks several times a week. Whenever I do I see no one working, no improvements or changes appear to have taken place, what workforce there is has gone by 4pm and nothing at all happens at weekends.

It is difficult to make a deadline when no one is working.

Regarding the traffic information signs, on Monday at around 3.30pm I drove onto the A1 southbound at junction eight only to find myself stuck in a very slow moving southbound queue. While driving through Stevenage to the A1 I passed two of these expensive signs, did they warn me of the heavy traffic? No.

Name and address supplied

SIR - Like many other Stevenage residents, I am disappointed and frustrated to read in the Comet that the bridge repair works on Six Hills Way are delayed once more.

This is a major route to schools, shops, businesses and homes and the consequences of the continued road closure have been felt throughout the town. It’s caused increased pressure on the rest of the road network, is a huge inconvenience for many residents who drive or use public transport, and resulted in extra fuel costs for many.

I’ve written to Hertfordshire County Council calling on them to answer vital questions, including:

• What date will Six Hills Way reopen?

• Whether communications with residents on these road closures can be improved? Especially the use of the electronic road signs.

• Finally, what the additional cost will be?

These, I think most Stevenage residents will agree with, are questions that need to be answered.

Councillor Ralph Raynor

Executive Member for Economy, Enterprise and Transport

Stevenage Borough Council

Law is needed

SIR - Regarding the feature about abandoned cats in The Comet, October 10, as the local RSPCA Herts East Branch we are experiencing similar problems each day. People are throwing out their cats like pieces of furniture. Many people are being evicted and are unable to take their pets with them to rented accommodation. Also many people just cannot afford to feed and pay the veterinary costs for their pets. Our local branch is picking up the pieces of all these stray unwanted animals, many of whom have been pregnant, so we have ended up with even more cats and kittens. We have a long waiting list to take many cats into our care but until people adopt them we cannot do this. I really think the public should be aware of what is happening to the wonderful creatures and how people are abusing them. Until we get the Government to see sense and bring in some law of protection we will become like foreign lands. If anyone would like to help our branch to foster, adopt or help in any way please contact Pat on 01462 672278.

Pat Trussell

RSPCA Herts East Branch

Cat support

SIR - The North Herts Branch of Cats Protection would like to thank the citizens and shoppers in Stevenage town centre.

On October 12 they responded to our collectors (and our cat glove puppets) with a magnificent total of £253.01. Particularly encouraging was the large number of parents handing their toddlers a few small coins and teaching them to put these in our collecting tins, thus encouraging the children to share and help those less fortunate than themselves. It is with these toddlers that the future of charitable work lies, twenty-five years from now.

Irene Auerbach

Fundraising Volunteer Organiser, Cats Protection, North Herts Branch

Pension ruse

SIR - I would like to comment on your recent article reference the retirement age of firefighters. Currently like the police they are able to retire on a full pension after 30 years service.

Many actually retire at 50 unlike the rest of us who have to retire at 66. Even now they are being given the enormous privilege of being able to retire at 60 and even this is not considered satisfactory by the rank and file.

With regard to firefighters they normally work a three shift system of 2 days, followed by 2 nights , followed by 2 rest days.

All my firefighting friends tend to have a second career as the 2 nights are not often busy (certainly in towns such as Stevenage/ Letchworth or Hitchin).

I have had to work until 65 so I am somewhat vexed that they think that they can retire at 50 and make a fuss about retiring at 60. The argument for retirement is said to be the hazardous and physical nature of the job. However, many artisans have very physical jobs and have to continue until 66.

May I suggest that they should not consider themselves a special case and accept the same rules as other workers. It is time they entered the real world and retired at 66 like the rest of us.

Name and address supplied

No response

SIR - In Response to Robert Behan’s letter in the Comet on October 10 where he states that Arriva Shires & Essex are not answerable to anybody.

After a bit of digging of publicly avaliable information I found that writing to David Martin, the CEO of Arriva Group UK at Admiral Way, Doxford International Business Park, Sunderland, SR3 3XP, yielded at least a response from Luton even if they were still rude and aggressive about it.

Of course if you really wanted to go to the top of the organisation then you could write to the parent company of Arriva UK which happens to be Deutsche Bahn the German state owned rail company.

It is such a pity that being ultimately owned by the German state that Arriva The Shires and Essex doesn’t seem to have got into the ethos of German efficiency and punctuality.

Name and address supplied

Kind act

SIR - I wonder if it would be possible to use your letters page as a way to thank a lovely lady who came to my rescue recently?

I would like to say a huge thank you to a lady who I only know as Elaine who kindly called an ambulance when I fell off my bike outside Morrisons.

My 9 year old son had to find help and he came back with Elaine who sat with me until the ambulance arrived.

Elaine you were so kind.We couldn’t have done without you.

Rachel Seaton and Zach

Address supplied

Late buses

SIR - For the past three weeks the SB5 7.25am service from Peartree to Stevenage Town Centre has been anything between eight to 13 minutes late most days.

This morning it was nine minutes late. This results in me missing my bus from the town centre to Lister Hospital and late for my lift and to work in Letchworth GC.

I also catch the 102 3.58pm Luton to Stevenage bus from Hitchin. Last Thursday it was 10 minutes late and on Friday when it arrived, it sat at the stop for four minutes despite being 12 minutes late. The bus was supposed to arrive in Stevenage at 4.20pm; it arrived at 4.40pm.

On Saturday the 5.20pm SB4 bus from the Asda stop to Peartree did not arrive and the next bus arrived at 5.40pm. None of the drivers of these buses have been able to offer any explanation for these late running services.

I have paid £63 for a four weekly ticket. Despite emailing Arriva three times regarding these delays, I have had no reply from them. They need to be held accountable to their paying public. In the interests of the public, please publish this letter in your next letters page.

Ruth Arloff

Valley Way

Stevenage

Play rights

SIR - I was horrified to read your front page last week regarding a small playing field on Church Road, Stotfold, near my home, where the intention is to build more houses.

Already the road is too narrow and traffic problems are on a daily basis.

Only this week I approached a small group of teenagers, boys aged 16 to 18, close to the field, about their views on the local area and they were unanimous in saying that there was nothing to do and yet here on their doorstep was a field they could not get access to and about to be built upon in an already very built up area.

Why is it that every project has to be about making more money? How about considering young people’s welfare and prevention of boredom. They do not ask for much and the projected youth centre has not appeared yet or even signs of it.

Meanwhile more houses are built and no infrastructure to support it. Is it because we are on the borders of Bedfordshire and too far away from central powers that be?

Joy Burton

Stotfold

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