Readers' Letters April 7, 2017
Need roads fit for 21st century
The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) commissioned a study undertaken by the Transport for Quality of Life Community Interest Company (TQLCIC) of 86 road schemes. These were the findings:
a) Traffic increased much more in road corridors with new schemes than background traffic in the surrounding area.
b) Schemes completed eight to 20 years ago demonstrated a traffic increase of 47pc, while traffic more than doubled in one scheme.
c) All new schemes put pressure on adjoining roads, with negligible reductions in journey times.
d) Of roads promoted for their benefits to the local economy, just one in five demonstrated any evidence at all of economic benefit, and that was weak.
e) More than half of the road schemes the consultants analysed harmed protected landscapes and designated environmental sites.
f) Overall, evidence suggested that 80pc of schemes built damaged the surrounding environment.
g) The case studies revealed specific examples where attempts to protect rare animals and plants failed.
I suspect many third crossing supporters would argue two things. Firstly, in view of what the CPRE and TQLCIC are about it is obvious they are anti-road building so are probably slanting the evidence how they want it. Well, Highways England in response states a lot about how roads are vital to the economy but does not offer any evidence to show why the CPRE’s evidence is wrong.
Secondly, that it is obvious to anyone who knows Lowestoft the third crossing will be one of the 1 in 5 and all the points have been part of the feasibility study and have been resolved. In particular the third crossing has been found to have a very high benefit:cost ratio. Well yes, just like the 80pc of ‘failed’ roads had!
It is worth noting much of the information for the study came from the Government’s own study source, Post Opening Project Evaluation of Major Schemes.
Finally, a word to those who argue it is time I realised it is the 21st century. I suppose the road lobby will say the CPRE would say this but it argues new roads was the 20th century solution and we now need a road system fit for the 21st century. That means designed for low carbon, less polluting modes and better use of new, ie 21st century, technology for smarter journey planning.
We can no longer road build our way out of difficulty.
Come join our Veterans Society
The Veterans Society Group in Lowestoft is inviting members of the public who are ex-servicemen and women, plus all those who support veterans’ welfare, to a meet and greet and dinner event on May 10 at the Carlton Manor Hotel.
It will give the opportunity for people to support group. We will be having a meet and greet followed by a three-course meal.
The price for this will be £19.95 per person, which is only to cover the room hire and their meal.
Our goal and ambition is to hold these meetings once a month, and hopefully raise awareness of providing support in the community.
Anyone interested and requiring more details can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Roadworks are coming to end
I have never written to a newspaper before but feel I must congratulate drivers for their patience and good humour during the gas hotspot-works in Oulton Broad.
Has it nearly been two months since work started?
The diversions at the notorious hotspot were frustrating to many and no doubt added long journey times and other routes for motorists and I feel for those who didn’t know the area and found themselves at a loss to where they were headed as they followed the diversion routes.
As a regular driver on Bridge Road I must admit I often sighed with frustration, but it all went very smoothly, didn’t it?
Dog signs are double speak
Since the new dog restrictions on the beach at Southwold came into force a few days ago, notices have appeared at relevant points giving the details of the new rules. These commence with the words ‘Help us to keep Southwold a dog friendly town’.
One of Southwold’s most famous residents was George Orwell, who was scathing about attempts to twist language so that it means directly the opposite to the reality. I think we can guess what he would have thought about this appalling piece of double speak.
Reunion plan for apprnetices
I am trying to arrange an apprentices reunion for all of the apprentices (and their wives/partners) that I trained with at Eastern Coachworks in Lowestoft, from September 1970 to 1975.
In our first year we studied fulltime at Lowestoft College, receiving training in all aspects of coach building. Aged 15, we earned £3 13 shillings and three pence per week.
The next four years were spent working at Eastern Coachworks, Eastern Way with one day a week day release at Lowestoft College. Aged 16 we had a wage rise, then receiving £4 one shilling and seven pence per week. By the age of 19 we earned 80pc of a tradesman’s wage. A full wage was not received until we had completed our five year apprenticeship at 20.
Eight of us stayed for 15 years until the factory closed at Christmas 1986. The other seven moved on to other jobs/careers.
Over the years I have bumped into a few of my former colleagues and we often express a wish to all meet up again, but it never happens. So I thought I would organise a reunion and try to get us all together.
I am aiming to hold a reunion of the 1970 apprentices at Eastern Coachworks Lowestoft in September 2017, if I can trace and invite the following: Gary Brown, John Chase (known as Chasie), Tony Cheek (Cheekie), Eddie Ellis, Danny Fairish (Dannyboy), Tony Garner (Alf), Kevin Hall, Kelvin Howlett (Kelly), Kevin Howes, Richard Holt (Ziggy), Peter Love (Lovie), Alan Martin (Allybow), Paul Swatman (Swattie), Michael Wincup.
If any of the above are interested, please email me via email@example.com or call me on 07519 159226.
JOHN SAMUELS (Sam)