LETTERS: October 14, 2016

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Star readers have their say

Apologies for X78 delays

On behalf of First South Yorkshire, I’d like to apologise for the continued delays being experienced by our customers on the X78 service.

Despite our best efforts the service is being heavily affected by the increased traffic volumes around Meadowhall. This is due to the flood defence works on Meadowhall Road, which has reduced traffic to one lane.

Journeys are scheduled to take around 35 minutes between Rotherham and Sheffield. However, between 3.30pm and 6pm, we are experiencing journey times of more than an hour.

On September 19 we added an additional vehicle to the daytime schedule, to help improve service performance, but we are still being affected by the congestion and major road incidents.

As an additional interim measure, on October 10, we added an extra 15 minutes’ recovery time at Rotherham interchange for services towards Doncaster.

If a service does however manage to run to time, customers making through journeys, may be required to wait 15 minutes before departing.

We have also been assured through the Bus Partnership that two lanes on Meadowhall Road will be reinstated from the end of October, and we then expect journey times to improve.

We’d like to assure customers that we really are trying our hardest to improve the situation, and to deliver the service that our customers deserve.

Alan Riggall

First South Yorkshire

Welcome to Sheffield

I almost choked on my lunch when I read Susan Quick’s letter in Wednesday’s Star.

Susan complained that on a recent visit to Sheffield her partner, who is in his 80th year, had a need to visit the toilets at the Bus Interchange.

The ‘Gents’ was closed, this being Saturday evening after all (!!!).

So after some initial difficulty, they managed to access the disabled toilet instead (Ms Quick is disabled).

Full marks for initiative, Ms Quick.

So far so good but unfortunately, this being Sheffield, it was not the end of the matter.

Ten minutes later, whilewaiting for their bus home they were approached and berated by some kind of blue and white uniformed “toilet police” who had been quietly monitoring their nefarious activities (by what means we are not apprised).

Now I don’t know how they do things in Hebden Bridge, Ms Quick – I suspect you simply follow the signs to the nearest public convenience.

Sadly, if you are taken short in Sheffield it’s different.

All the council-run toilets were decommissioned long ago – no money you see.

Wily established residents are assumed to know all the secret and un-signposted toilets hidden away in dark corners and on the top floors of department stores.

For everyone else, either use your smartphone toilet app (What? You didn’t think to download it) or just ‘hold it’ until you get home.

And please don’t try to use the disabled facilities or you’ll be for it.

Welcome to Sheffield, Ms Quick, please come again.

As you are unlikely to be receiving an apology from Sheffield Council any time soon, I hope you will accept my humble apologies as an embarrassed Sheffielder for this disgusting state of affairs.

And I would remind the council, who are responsible for this sorry mess, that our great Victorian forebears who built this Ccity were able to install and service dozens of perfectly adequate public conveniences all over the city without once holding out the begging bowl to central government for a grant, but simply using the proceeds of their own enterprise and hard graft.

Gary Crosby

by email

Dim view of public sector

As a now retired “public sector worker” I would like to reply to the letter by G Ellison of October 11.

It would seem he has a very dim view of public sector workers.

He does not mention his trade but it looks like he has a wealth of knowledge of all public services to come out with the statements he has.

From 1956 until 2002 I have for the most part been employed in public service, armed forces, public transport, electricity supply (CEGB) and local government.

I hope G Ellison or his family is never in need of hospital or nursing care (We all know what slackers medical staff are).

Then there’s the police, fire brigade, teachers, cleansing department operatives and any amount of other services he takes for granted that I’m sure he wouldn’t like to be involved with.

Having said that, the jobs do have their compensations in the form of gold-plated pensions paid for entirely by workers in the private sector and while on the subject, weren’t miners employed in the public sector?

By my reckoning everything that was once in public hands that has been given away to the private sector has been a complete and utter failure and served only the rich and elite, Thatcher and her cronies’ greatest wish.

Alan Lockwood, former dogsbody as opposed to a latter day gobsbody

by email

Think before you write

Re Outlook grim for oldies – EB Warris

Some Government employees can retire even earlier than 55 – but so what? That is their employment contract, and it has nothing to do with the increase in the state pension age.

They, like all of us, have to wait until (at present) they’re 66 like the rest of us to draw the state pension.

If Mr Warris’s idea were taken up, it would necessarily mean civilian workers losing their admin jobs – there are only so many.

Does Mr Warris really champion for example.

A PC retiring at 50-55, with a lump sum in excess of £100,000 and a pension of over £15,000 a year, leaving the Police on Friday and returning as a civilian on Monday with all those benefits AND a job for the next 10 years paying £18-20,000 a year?

Does he understand that a civilian worker would have to lose his job? I think not.

The “Outlook for oldies” in the UK has never been better and it is facile to compare retirement conditions in Russia and China with those here.

Seems Mr Warris is quick to put pen to paper, without giving much thought to what he espouses.

Mike Wilson

by email

Do your research

Re Cameron Fleming’s letter of October 12.

Mr Fleming really wants to get his facts right.

He states 63 per cent of miners rejected strike action in 1983.

In fact there were three ballots, two in 1982 and one in March 1983, where miners backed action but the majority was not large enough to take action.

Also he states the subsequent Labour government closed far more pits than the Tories.

In fact Thatcher and Major closed 170 pits between them,Thatcher 115, Major 55, Blair and Brown closed 13,Blair 12, Brown 1.

Without going into the ins and outs of things a lot of people’s lives were destroyed by a political leader hell bent on destroying a trade union and mining communities.

The fact that a Prime Minister could call decent working people “the enemy within”says it all.

So next time you want to drag the past up Mr Fleming do your research.

Mr H

by email

I’m glad Will has quit

Will Young has quit Strictly Come Dancing. Good ! He’s one of the most obnoxious people on planet earth.

Simon Cowell told us years ago what he thought about him.

Young even had to backchat to expert and chief judge Len Goodman because he dared to criticise Young on his salsa, so I say good riddance to him.

The BBC should withhold his fee but I bet they won’t ? Anyway Gareth Gates was a better singer than him.

Terry Palmer

South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley S74

We have right to know

So Sheffield City Council has to make a further £120 million pounds of cuts and more could be facing redundancy.

Could Sheffield City Council leader, Julie Dore, please inform us what the exact financial figures are for:

n Uncollected, unpaid council tax which is owed to Sheffield City Council?

n How much is owed to Sheffield City Council in unpaid council rent?

n In each of the above, what is the longest non-payment?

If Sheffield Council workers are facing redundancy and there is the potential that the council tax will have to rise to cover any shortfall, I think we have the right to know how much is owed to get the full financial picture.

James Fenner

by email

Socialist hypocrite

Another socialist hypocrite hits the headlines.

Now it’s new shadow Attorney General Shami Chakrabarti caught sending her son to private school while simultaneously condemning Theresa May’s plan for more grammar schools.

It’s the usual story of the left saying “don’t do as I do – do as I say.”

Before lefties write in to complain, there are plenty of Tories who are just as bad.

Steve

S8