There has been much criticism of the appointment of a CBE to Mark Carne, chief executive of Network Rail for the last four years, in the Queen’s birthday honours.
It has certainly been a difficult period for Network Rail, savaged over delays to engineering works, debt levels and missed punctuality targets and he is, in fact, stepping down later this year.
However, when travelling, the most serious concern is safety.
Network Rail is responsible for maintaining the track upon which many thousands of trains travel each day at speeds of up to 125mph, (180mph on HS1 from London to the Channel Tunnel).
It is perhaps an appropriate time to celebrate the excellent safety record of our railway and note that the last occasion there was a passenger fatality as a result of derailment, (or collision), was o February 23, 2007, (over 11 years ago), at Grayrigg in Cumbria, when the 17.30 London Euston-Glasgow Central derailed over a set of faulty points, when one passenger sadly died.
During Mr Carne’s period of office there has not been a single passenger fatality on the railway that could be apportioned to the condition of the track, a proud record indeed.
Becket Walk, Sheffield, S8
Help drivers get justice
I was forced into a bus lane near Asline Road on Saturday, January 27, by the presence of two police barriers preventing me using Asline Road, my usual departure road from my parking position on match days at Bramall Lane.
I sent a letter to The Star which was published outlining the way I felt hard done by to be issued with a penalty charge notice as I had no realistic way of avoiding it.
When my appeal failed I wrote again which was also published.
My main reason for writing was that I was only one of many, possibly more than 100 people caught this way and felt they should not be too quick to pay.
After further discussions I received a reply acknowledging the presence of those barriers and overturning the notice thus letting me off and justice was done.
I want to pass on the good news and hopefully more of those victims of this particular incident could not just share in my victory but more importantly have the necessary ammunition to go back to parking services to receive their own just deserts, whether that be a dropping of their penalty or possible refunds.
Alas more than 100 motorists in Sheffield have been unfairly charged just because of a delay in removing said barriers and thus forcing traffic into one safe exit,a bus lane.
As The Star has been involved before in other bus gate scenarios in other parts of Sheffield, please help my fellow motorists get the justice they too deserve.
Gleadless, Sheffield, S12
Cold sores and shingles
For as long as I can remember I have suffered from cold sores but never shingles.
However, after turning 70 and qualifying for a free preventative injection from my GP against a possible future shingles outbreak and then buying a costly tube of cold sore cream, I wondered if the jab would also have an effect on the herpes simplex cold sore virus in my system.
I am happy to report that since having the injection 18 months ago I haven’t experienced one instance of a cold sore.
This could of course be a coincidence but I’ll let you know if I get any in future.
In the meantime, anybody want to buy an unused tube of cold sore cream?
Waterthorpe, Sheffield, S20
The wrong calculation
I’m afraid that although Ron Hardy’s maths are 100 per cent correct, he has made the wrong calculation.
The full truth is that the Government sold 925m RBS shares.
There are currently 11,964m shares in issue.
It thus reduced its ownership of ordinary shares by 7.7 per cent from 70.1 per cent to 62.4 per cent of the shares in issue, exactly what the press reported.
Everard Avenue, Sheffield, S17
Parking as they please
I have read with great interest, recent letters to The Star, referring to problem parking near schools.
Double parking, across junctions, double yellow lines, zig zags, on pavements, blocking drives.
The recent letter with photographs was an eye-opener.
Double parking often makes a main throughfare one way only.
Prospect Road is a good example.
Driving through is difficult and dangerous, even more so for the local bus, which on occasions cannot get through.
Someone, probably a child, will be hurt, or even worse, killed.
A fire engine going to an emergency call would have a real dilemma.
The only thing that will change the practice, is for the police to enforce existing traffic regulations and issue tickets for all vehicles illegally parked.
A short period of notice could be given, and then the policy enforced.
I wouldn’t like to be the police constable on site.
Reactions to similar situations reported in the press have been quite staggering.
Some drivers seem to think they have the right to park as they please, regardless of regulations, safety, and even common sense.
Letters have to be read
Stephen, you’re right, letters have to be read to know the contents.
I start to read a letter and if it’s not to my interest I go no further, that’s me done.
I wouldn’t write in commenting on other letters unless it was to do with myself.
Lodge Moor, S10