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Join the D.A.F.T. party!

PUBLISHED: 13:54 23 October 2008 | UPDATED: 12:03 03 July 2010

IT is my intention to stand in the next General Election representing the people of Great Yarmouth as an independent. My party will be called David Against Futile Transportation (DAFT) party.

IT is my intention to stand in the next General Election representing the people of Great Yarmouth as an independent. My party will be called David Against Futile Transportation (DAFT) party. I am not up on party funding, or how much it will cost but I intend to ask every person delayed by the accident on Breydon Bridge on Friday to give £1 and I'm sure that would be enough.

I have started on my manifesto and some policies. I'm sure your readers could add some points that all appear very basic, but are obviously being overlooked by the existing powers.

The DAFT party would investigate:

1 How an inner relief road does no such thing.

2 A roundabout that has no queuing vehicles from two of the four directions on it, but over 200 vehicles from the other two (no study needed).

3 Why it is cheaper for a family of four to get a taxi rather than use a bus?

4 Cycle paths that are no such thing, just pavements with a white emblem painted on them.

5 Resident's parking areas that are immaterial when you can park on yellow lines uncontested.

6 Inconsistencies in car park charges. (Other than if you are a traveller, then you park free).

7 A main artery road that is little more than a well maintained farm track. (Just wait until all the lorries start coming.)

All policies need cash in some way, so I would start by putting a new roof on my office and then investing in a bank in a country smaller than the borough, so you can see I've thought this through. The purists amongst you would say I'm confusing my council with my parliament, the people of Great Yarmouth would say “so what, just sort it out.”

DAVID WOODS

North Market Road

Great Yarmouth

WE would like to respond to a letter that appeared in the Mercury from Mrs Dodds. Gorleston Safer Neighbourhood Team is tackling speeding in Gorleston as one of the community priorities set by our Key Individual Network.

We understand the frustration stressed by Mrs Dodds; however, we have conducted numerous speed checks throughout Gorleston over the past few weeks. We have recorded our findings and when necessary enforced these by way of a £60 and three point ticket or reporting for summons.

Throughout these times we have found only one person who was travelling above the speed limit and within prosecution guidelines. This person was issued with a fixed penalty ticket.

I understand that a police officer in a high visibility jacket, standing at the side of the road would encourage drivers to adjust their speed, but we wear these jackets for safety. We also have to be visible to the general public. Gorleston Safer Neighbourhood Team has been working hard on this priority and thinks that it is a perception of speed.

We have received an anonymous letter from a member of the public saying they have conducted their own estimated speed checks. We would welcome local concerned residents to come along to our speed checks or if they are passing at the time to stop and chat with us. We fully understand that people are passionate about road safety and in no way do we wish to discourage this.

If anyone would like to set up a speed watch campaign then please contact the Gorleston Safer Neighbourhood Team on 0845 456 4567 or email SNTGorleston@norfolk.pnn.police.uk.

INSP RICHARD GRAVELING

Gorleston Safer Neighbourhood

AS one of the many hundreds of people caught up in the road chaos on Friday afternoon, I am astounded that in the two hours and 40 minutes it took me to travel from Gorleston cliffs to Northgate Street, there was not one policeman to be seen. Not one!

It has been obvious for a long time, but more so in the past two weeks, that to continue to allow a free flow of traffic from Pasteur Road was crippling the other roads meeting at the Gapton Hall roundabout, especially the route from the south.

Traffic from the south waits at the roundabout, quite rightly, for that which is coming from the A47 or Yarmouth North, but also the odd twos and threes of traffic from Pasteur Road, leaving no opportunity for motorists from the south to go forward across the roundabout. A policeman holding the traffic temporarily from Pasteur Road would make a lot of difference. Surely it would be possible?

DOREEN KING

Yallop Avenue

Gorleston

AFTER reading the story about a cat being rescued from a roof, I was disappointed to read that its owner had called the fire service for help in getting it down. I love cats, but sorry, if the cat got up there, it can get down. And two fire engines went along? What about when someone's life is at risk? That's more important.

DARRYL WEBBER

Anson Road

Great Yarmouth

IN response to Mr Gibbs' letter last week, I would firstly like to say that I have lived in Yarmouth all my life and I too remember the Norfolk Line ferries. What I do not remember, however, is the lorries mostly travelling through the town at night. As Mr Gibbs stated: “three ships throughout the day and night.”

Also, as I recall, even the relatively small number of lorries that travelled to and from these ferries did at times cause considerable congestion; when they turned into the oncoming traffic after crossing Haven Bridge for example.

I agree with Mr Gibbs entirely that a third river crossing and dualling of the Acle Straight (along with the rest of the A47 and A17) is required to help put the Great back into Yarmouth. Unfortunately this is not likely to happen for many years to come. There simply is not enough money available to pay for these projects.

At present the Outer Harbour is nothing more than rocks and sand, with no confirmed operator, infrastructure, terminal building or hard standing. Hardly the best thing that has happened to the town in years.

I sincerely hope my scepticism is proved to be unfounded and that the harbour project brings much needed money and jobs into Yarmouth. Unfortunately though, it is a case of I'll believe it when I see it.

SHAUN LAYTON

Trafalgar Court

Great Yarmouth

THE debate about the closing of the cemetery gates at night is unfortunate. I would ideally want the gates open. Saying that, I understand the attitude of those who would prefer them closed.

Whatever happens, all three cemetery sites will be abused by undesirable factions day and night. This is a crying shame, as this area is a site not only full of history it is an area full of wildlife, which we should all be able to enjoy unhindered. So until the likes of council, police, church and ourselves do something more constructive, the area is going to suffer.

NICK LASHAM

East Road,

Gorleston

I READ with dismay that a portion of my council tax had been given over to a foreign bank by some irresponsible individual from Great Yarmouth.

I read that a number of irresponsible greedy local authorities had done the same and now they have the audacity to “blame” the Financial Services Authority or some quango financial advisory company, for giving the advice that my money should be placed in an insecure country's banking system, because I have yet to be convinced that these banks had “top credit ratings”.

My guess is that the individual responsible for this maverick outrage will not be sacked as they should be for this negligence. Even if my maths is incorrect, by my reckoning the council would have made £120k putting it into any UK bank.

Please do not come to me, with an increase in council tax, as a result of this gambling.

GEORGE OTTLEY

Station Road South

Belton

ISN'T it amazing how councillors and highway authorities have no idea what it's all about? Planning a harbour for so many years and still they cannot get it right.

All they have to do is consult the experts; professional drivers who use the roads every day of their working life know more about traffic flow and problems than someone who may use their car twice a day. I would have thought that councillors and planners would have taken time to visit various other harbours to see the pitfalls they might encounter. It isn't rocket science to see that the main part would be the infrastructure, which to me should have been started to coincide with the building of the harbour.

There are only two ways out of Great Yarmouth and it doesn't take a genius to realise the chicken came before the egg.

The correct way to have done this was to build a road straight onto the A47. There's enough waste ground to do so. As far as cost goes, do what they do on the continent - a toll road - which will pay for it. It may take time to recoup the money, but when you do, the money can be used for the upkeep of the road.

I was a professional driver of 42 years. Highway authorities do surveys of traffic etc, but they do not have drivers to advise them. A taxi driver, bus driver, ambulance driver, police, fireman, heavy goods driver, delivery driver and travelling sales people who have had many years' experience should be part of any road or infrastructure committee.

Then you might see traffic flowing and not as is happening now, inconvenience to the whole of the area and the people that live there, and that goes for the whole of the country.

I ask one important question: how are emergency services coping with this congestion, people with hospital appointments, children getting to school, etc? All it takes is a bit of commonsense and foresight. Where is the condemnation of the various media factions who are usually outspoken on this incompetence?

DAVID BROWN

Yallop Avenue

Gorleston

I NEED to just say what negativity I have been reading on the letters page over the last few months.

First it was the Outer Harbour and the roads not being able to cope with the expected traffic it will generate. Now the roads are being upgraded along the quayside it has brought the need for another river crossing to the fore.

Most of what I have read is linked to the past; we need to look forward and see the bigger picture of the future. Whatever goes on in this town is for the good, but there is always someone ready to pull it apart.

Residents of this town must see that this will be beneficial now and for future generations.

Mrs LYNN SMITH

Northgate Street

Great Yarmouth

WITH all the roadworks in Great Yarmouth at the moment, I do expect disruption, but I also believe that First buses could do a lot better than they have.

Living in Caister and being a non driver, I do rely on their services. During the past two weeks, they have become a nightmare; no buses for up to an hour, then clusters of them, in twos, threes or even fours! Even more frustrating and annoying is when a lone bus does appear, it promptly goes “out of service”! Aaaargh!

If they are going out of service, then they are heading for the depot, so could they not pick up passengers and then terminate there? At least we would stand half a chance of getting to our destinations. I do not blame the drivers but the operators; do they not communicate? First, hang your head in shame!

KYM ROBSON

Second Avenue

Caister-on-Sea

WHERE is the cross that is normally in the ground at the Cenotaph in St George's Park? The cross has been marked out in the ground for a good many years so that people can put their cross of remembrance to their loves ones or family. So let's have it back at once, before November 17.

D PALTHORPE

Forces veteran

Belgrave Villas

Great Yarmouth

ALL FEPOW's FEPOW widows and friends please note that following the service of remembrance at the Town Hall Memorial, there will be a gathering for a service at the FEPOW Memorial on Marine Parade, Great Yarmouth at 12.30pm on Sunday, November 9, to which all are welcome to join with us in this act of remembrance.

BERT MAJOR

Far East Prisoners of War Association

THE article in The Mercury, October 17, re Beach Road car park, Caister on Sea, was interesting.

Local authority car parks, the right to charge for parking and consequent penalties for failing to pay a charge, or park properly in a bay, are prescribed by legislation and bylaws. These will spell out such things as the extent of the car-parking area, where bays are to be situated, the size of the bays, the hourly charge for parking and the consequences (usually a fixed penalty) for breach.

The rules designating the car-park will also create other offences such as straddling two or more bays and might even prohibit use of the area by large vehicles and overnight parking. A copy of the rules governing this, and all other Council pay-and-display car parks, will be available from the Town Hall.

For several years now, the car park in question has been without surface markings delineating the extent of the car-park and the layout of parking bays. In reality the surface is so shabby I think it would be impossible to do so in its present condition. Consequently, in my view, because that car-park does not comply with the law which set it up, it is not lawful for the Council to charge for its use and any subsequent action arising out of a breach of the rules has no legal basis. It follows that anyone who has paid a fixed penalty for that breach would be entitled to have their money back.

Furthermore, because there is, at present, no lawful basis for charging, motorists can park in Beach Road car park for free.

Incidentally, I am also of the view that several of the recently painted yellow lines in and around Caister do not comply with regulations. Their consequent legality is, in my view, highly questionable.

LEONARD THOMPSON

Cromarty Way

Caister-on-Sea

NOW that the police have sorted out the bottle necks at Fullers Hill and Acle New Road roundabouts perhaps they can turn their attention to Gapton Hall, perhaps switching the traffic lights off at peak times and having officers/wardens controlling the flow would speed things up.

The people from Bradwell must be extremely frustrated that when they reach the lights and it's their turn, some inconsiderate driver is blocking them from moving and they have to sit through another light change or two before they move. Police or wardens should also stop the entrances and exits from being blocked and possibly deter the lunatics that roar up the outside and then think they have a god-given right to be allowed to push in.

MARTIN BULLEN

Caister-on-Sea

THERE comes a time when everyone gets fed up with the local yobs and the vandalism that they cause, you try and stay out of their way so not to confront them but it still doesn't work.

When I first moved to Great Yarmouth there wasn't any of this vandalism, or anti-social behaviour, but now it's happening all over the place.

You phone the police but they tell you if you haven't seen anyone acting suspiciously they can't do anything about it, but they do give you a crime number, as if that's going to help matters.

Maybe I should move and that would be the end of the matter, but you just don't know, do you? But why also must I give in to these horrible people? May be the victims of these crimes should go round and vandalise their property and see what they think about it.

Name and address withheld

THERE was a lady that our village has lately lost. Every day of her time was used in working for this place. I haven't lived here that long, but I knew and admired her. It was this lovely lady that began the club that became the Scratby and California Club. One day we may get a village hall. I am sure that every one of the villagers would love to see this hall named in her honour: The Joan Wharton Hall. God bless her.

Mr W BALL

Heather Avenue

Scratby

IT has been the practice over the years for some insurance companies to offer discounts on premiums to those householders who claim to be members of Neighbourhood Watch Schemes, a concept introduced over 20 years ago from the USA. But such schemes vary widely in their effectiveness.

There is an urgent need for police and insurance companies to liaise more closely with respect to making optimum use of such schemes, and in particular a clearer definition is needed of what constitutes an active scheme. For example, a credible scheme should be able to prove that members held regular formal meetings in the presence of a police officer, who would supply information about local crime and dispense advice on crime prevention techniques. Its members would also be visited on a regular basis by police, checking that basic crime prevention measures have been taken.

Better liaison between all concerned would concentrate minds wonderfully and if bigger discounts were offered to those scheme members who have been certified by police to have proved exceptionally efficient in the field of crime prevention and detection, there would be more incentive for more people to join. Currently there appears to be only lip service paid by police to this valuable resource, as evidenced by the steady turnover of officers appointed to liaise with the schemes.

JOHN KENNY

Habgood Close

Acle

WE are in the process of compiling the third “Ageless Opportunities Directory of social activities in the Borough, for those over 50.” Entry is free, there is a form for groups to complete. If anyone runs a group not yet in The Directory please get in touch asap.

(For those over 50 wanting to try something new, or rekindle an interest in an old activity, keep an eye out for the free trial offers in The Advertiser in the next couple of weeks). We can be contacted at Ageless Opportunities, Great Yarmouth Community Trust, The Priory Centre, Priory Plain, Great Yarmouth NR30 1NW, tel 01493 743000 or 07747107910, email:kate-platt@gyctrust.co.uk

KATE PLATT

Development Co-ordinator

THE hunt is on to track down the family of a man who laid a plaque at the back of St George's Theatre in Great Yarmouth.

Ex-servicemen Bill O'Connor and Ian Burnett want the plaque dedicated to the Gurkhas removed to St Georges' Park next to the war memorial which they feel is more fitting.

Bill said: “The Gurkhas have always been our allies and fought along side us. People shouldn't forget the huge contributions they have made to the conflicts this country has been involved in.”

Ian Burnett said: “We only found it a few months ago and of course we will need permission to remove it. It was laid there in May 1988 by a former gunner, E Williams, but we don't know of his whereabouts and would like to have him or his family contact us.”

Bill and Ian belong to Memorable Order of Tin Hats (MOTH), a non-political and non-sectarian organisation which remembers and celebrates the comradeship and help between armed services' personnel.

If you can help Bill or Ian, in their quest to find Mr Williams, or for further information on MOTH, please call Bill O'Connor on 07948 674902.

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