WEEKEND WEB: Free Press letters

Reader's picture by Byron Hahn.
Reader's picture by Byron Hahn.
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Your views on Lorries through villages, Brexit and dog mess

This is an issue all over South Holland region

John Elson's Free Press cartoon

John Elson's Free Press cartoon

Regarding your story about re-routing lorries away from villages, this is very much more than just Sutton St James’ problem.

For example, the volume of HGV traffic through Pinchbeck is utterly ridiculous – my own home is one of many

literally crumbling from the 24/7 HGV traffic, and I appreciate this is a near-universal issue in this region.

A big part of the problem is indeed locally generated as Coun Davies (Lincolnshire County Council) says – which is no excuse at-all, since many local depots use rat-runs through our villages even when situated close to trunk routes

Weight and other dimensional limits are not advisory, and no traffic can be exempt from them for obvious reasons (fragile bridges, narrow roads), so I’m not sure why he thinks locally-generated HGV traffic would be exempt from them.

The council is also at fault for allowing continuing development of depots far away from trunk routes, and further at fault for setting excessively high speed limits on our roads – speed limits which are in any case never enforced (except for a few routine spots chosen for profitability not safety).

So, please wake-up Lincolnshire – it’s not 1957 any more and your short-termist, penny pinching roads planning shames you and endangers us tax-payers.

Paul Jeffery

Pinchbeck

Sat Nav systems could be programmed for HGVs

I think Leicestershire have made an excellent case for keeping HGVs away from short cuts through villages.

Money spent in the short term has been money saved in the long term, and it appears that the quality of life in the affected villages has been improved.

Sat Nav systems could also quite easily be programmed for HGVs to prioritise main roads and avoid rural short cuts.

Sat Navs are still prone to base routes on a simplistic ‘satellite view’ – as I found out in the summer when mine helped me avoid a traffic jam by launching us on a very scenic but extremely rough detour along the Pennine Way!

I have to add that Gosberton seems unlikely to gain from such a project. We have a high number of HGVs passing through on what seem at present to be unavoidable journeys; if Lincolnshire County Council would consider ways of moving haulage depots to sites adjacent to main roads, Gosberton and Quadring would certainly benefit.

As a regular late-night dog walker, the majority of HGVs I see at that time observe the speed-limit and drive considerately as they pass through Gosberton. I have written to Turners of Soham thanking them for the consistently high standards of their drivers.

Steve Weatherly-Barton

Three points about our HGV misery

With regard to the recently published article in Spalding Today about HGVs going through Sutton St James . As a resident of the village in question I would be grateful if you would allow me to make three points.

Firstly, I would like to respond to the comment by Coun Richard Davies that most of the HGV traffic is generated locally and would therefore be exempt from any weight limit enforcement .

This is simply incorrect. Over a short period of only two weeks and for only an hour or so daily I personally have recently observed many HGVs passing through the village from places as diverse as Manchester, London, Hull the west country and Scotland. This happens many times daily.

Secondly ,given that the proposed scheme to expand the A17 at Gedney has now been abandoned could this money not be spent on improving the lives of local residents by re-routing HGVs as Leicester have done ?

This would benefit all villages on the route currently taken by these ‘tourist’ HGVs, not only Sutton St James. The cost of the proposed Gedney scheme was the same as that spent on re-routing HGVs in Leicestershire.

Lastly, may I point out that damage to buildings etc is not the only issue. I and many others are completely unable to have an unbroken nights sleep as these vehicles pass through 24/7. I am woken every night in the early hours by the noise and vibration of these vehicles.

D Clarke Sutton 
Sutton St t James

Who now believes these ludicrous promises?

John Hayes MP (Hayes in the House, November 7) says our “food and farming sector is our most important industry.” OK so far. However, he then goes on to assert a “no deal” Brexit will see our vital local food and farming sector “well placed to flourish in the future”.

John Hayes is a ‘true believer’ in Brexit, with unshakeable faith and an all-consuming belief that there must be positive outcomes from Brexit. Unfortunately, what he lacks is logic and evidence. So, let me offer a few facts that challenge his unbridled faith in Brexit.

First, if the UK leaves the EU with “no deal” in March 2019, as John Hayes recommends, we will instantly: lose preferential trading agreements affecting 71.1 per cent of our current exports in goods and services; join Mauritania as the only country in the world currently trading exclusively on WTO rules; and have no approved WTO trading ‘schedules’ in place.

This dire outcome is conservatively estimated to cost our national economy between 5.1-7.7 per cent of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), whereas annual EU membership currently costs us only 1.1 per cent of government spending (from which we derive huge net benefits).

If this is not a cliff, over which, lemming-like, we do not need to jump, I don’t know what is.

Second, we need to recognise the fundamental difference between a ‘Free Trade Agreement’ (FTA) and the EU Single Market, which is completely different. Typically, an FTA covers goods, rather than services, whereas the EU Single Market encompasses both goods and services and also eliminates non-tariff barriers, such as national procurement policies. Non-tariff barriers to free trade are typically much more significant than tariff barriers.

Third, when it comes to arranging an FTA with the US, as advocated by John Hayes, we need to remember that President Donald Trump’s maxim is “Buy American, Hire American, America First.” Moreover, as his US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, and our own International Trade Secretary, Liam Fox, have said, this will mean us having to accept US genetically-modified crops, chlorine-washed chicken and growth-hormone, antibiotic-laden beef, pork, lamb and poultry.

Is the destruction of our domestic food and farming industry, and the health of everyone in the UK, a price John Hayes is willing to pay just to get us out of the EU? It would be good to know, as It makes no sense.

Let’s hope John Hayes can tell us where the promised “sunny uplands” of prosperity after Brexit have gone, based on a free trade deal with the EU that will be the “easiest in human history”, “the EU needs us more than we need them”, “we can have our cake and eat it”, “we’ll get the exact same terms” and, as added bonus, we’ll have an extra “£350 million a week” to spend on the NHS. Who now believes these ludicrous promises... apart from John Hayes?

Alan Meekings

Holbeach

There’s no dog dirt eating machine

Now the nights are darker earlier why do people think it is okay not clear up after their dogs have messed?

It will still be there when it gets light the next day. There isn’t a dog mess eating machine that travels along the pavements clearing up after the lazy owners.

The task is not a difficult one. The dog does his business, the owner gets a poo bag, clears the mess up and pops it in a bin, easy, you’d think, well obviously not for some.

Where do they think this mess goes? On to the footwear of people walking to work, going for a run, children walking to school.

This then ends up on shop or office floors, house carpets and worse of all, school carpets where the children then sit for story time. It isn’t pleasant having to clean this off your footwear, so please be a bit more considerate and clear up after your dog, they can’t do it themselves. Yes, I do own a dog and yes I clear up after him.

Jane Peacock

via email

Our charity race night raised £900

On Friday, the Spalding Branch of the RNLI held their annual Race Night. We were delighted to raise £900 for the charity and would like to thank everyone who supported the event including those firms and individuals who generously sponsored races.

Special thanks goes to Spalding Services and Social Club who kindly allowed us to use their hall for the event.

Fundraising events such as this are vital if the RNLI are to maintain their rescue services throughout the year.

Peter Warren

RNLI Hon Treasurer 
Spalding Branch