Passengers had distressing stories to tell
Letter of the Week: Judith Greenwood, Batley
Changes to the bus services in North Kirklees were the subject of impassioned discussion at a packed public meeting in Cleckheaton Methodist Church on March 8.
The meeting with the representatives of Arriva and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority was organised by Batley and Spen’s MP Tracy Brabin, whose courteous and sensitive chairing of the proceedings managed to keep the tone civil and constructive most of the time.
Arriva’s reiterated justification for the changes, which is that some routes are not “commercially viable”, was greeted with disbelief and anger by passengers whose lives have been seriously disrupted both economically and socially by the changes.
The loss of the 253 which served Bradford, Birkenshaw, Cleckheaton, Liversedge, Mirfield and Dewsbury was a particular cause for anger.
The removal of the 253 has had a catastrophic effect on so many people’s lives, according to the distressing stories which members of the audience had to tell.
People of all ages and walks of life have been left stranded by the route changes, unable to get to work on time, or to hospital appointments, or to pick up children or grandchildren from school, or to visit relatives in care homes.
At a time when Kirklees is trying to support the initiatives to combat loneliness introduced by Jo Cox, some of Arriva’s route changes have destroyed independence and increased isolation for people in large areas of North Kirklees.
When questioned about the changes to the 229 route, which now avoids Healey, Batley and Bradford Road, the Arriva representative said their consultation process had shown that commuters wanted a faster run to Leeds.
But no-one in the audience had seen or heard anything about the consultation process.
And the flaws in the process were shown up when the Arriva representative admitted that changes to one bus timetable will have to be reconsidered now, because students from Greenhead College have given feedback to say their lives have been made very difficult by the changes.
The changes have re-routed many bus services through the Heckmondwike Hub, which the West Yorkshire Combined Authority representative agreed was proving inadequate to cope with the increased traffic flow.
The Hub is now frequently congested and has no proper facilities for the safety and comfort of passengers.
The meeting over-ran its allotted time and many people were left angry and frustrated without answers.
Tracy Brabin has offered to organise a further meeting in the hope that passengers’ concerns will be addressed.
Others should follow suit
From: Miss J Hodge, Dewsbury
May I through your Forum page say a huge congratulations to Asda for taking a stand to remove all single knives from the shelves in their stores by the end of April.
I just hope that other stores and shops follow their example.
It’s about time somebody did something, too many young lives are being lost.
Well done Asda.
As far away as possible
From: Ben Marshall, Liversedge
Further to your articles and letters to the editor regarding Huddersfield-centric Kirklees Council, isn’t it interesting that the proposed travellers’ site is as far away from Huddersfield as possible?
In fact it’s almost in Leeds, as your report states. Perhaps the council think the residents’ access to the motorway will be helpful.
And the proposed “other suitable” sites were nowhere near Huddersfield either!
It is sad that a scruffy set of fields 30-odd years ago was transformed by a multiplex cinema, and now potentially run down by a few caravans, but I think that’s what could happen if the site is approved.
Guess who’s to blame?
From: Heckmondwike Hector
Shamima Begum must rank as one of the most negligent mothers in modern times.
Through an indescribable lack of care she has been ultimately complicit in the death of her first two children.
Even after this catastrophe, she went on to get pregnant yet again whilst choosing to live in one of the most inhospitable places on earth.
To the furore of the liberal class, she lost her third child earlier in the month; and guess who’s to blame?
The British Government of course, along with the unsympathetic general public who, understandably, recoil at the very thought of someone like her walking the streets of Britain.
Begum turned her back on the protective environment offered to her at home; the NHS with its comprehensive maternity service and the welfare of a civilised society.
Putting aside the fact that she was aiding and abetting the slaughter of thousands of innocents, she is personally guilty of her own particular crime.
I am not unsympathetic to her innocent children but, forgive my facetiousness, according to Begum’s very own precepts, nothing can happen lest it be the will of Allah.
So then, on this proviso where does our Government and the rest of our population, including you and I, figure in this scheme of things?
Let us not ignore the fact that Begum was acting in accordance with her own warped ideology.
The aim was the ultimate victory of the caliphate and to celebrate it, three or more children; all with names of a related theme.
Her third child for example was called ‘Jarrah,’ which means ‘one who wounds,’ and may also be a reference to a savage 7th century warlord who slaughtered non-believers.
Her sons (and daughters) would, of course, have British citizenship.
Remember the caliphate is considered to be ‘evolution without a timetable.’ Perhaps her offspring would return here to grow up and carry on the ‘struggle’ inherited from their historical forefathers.
Smarter than you think aren’t they?
Now ISIS is virtually smashed it’s time for Begum’s plan B.
Lionised by the Guardian newspaper, she has a whole host of supporters ranging from solicitors, human rights lawyers, family and many in her own community.
I have no doubt that in the long run they will defeat the government – and home she will come.
If the revoking of her citizenship is eventually deemed illegal by the European Court of Human Rights, Begum could be in line for a seven-figure payout.
In due course she will become a new ‘rights champion’ who will dine with Diane Abbot and become a special guest for gullible TV presenters.
Her infamy will also make her the toast of misguided lefty universities throughout the country.
This might be speculation, but with the help of the liberal elite it could well be a strong possibility some time in the future.