Letters, December 30 2016
PUBLISHED: 21:04 29 December 2016 | UPDATED: 21:04 29 December 2016
Be optimistic on transformation
I can understand cynicism to the masterplan which is envisaged for Great Yarmouth and yes, there is often a feeling of déjà vu with all these apparently grandiose schemes. But there must always be optimism this is indeed the opportune moment to revitalise our town centre and its environs.
I do though wonder if it is counter-productive to be so ambitious but then again we all need aspirations and the majority of us want the best for our somewhat beleaguered town. Our annual Festivals go from strength to strength and they started from small beginnings and have prospered.
The hideous unforeseen hit of the Regent Road fire did go hand in hand with a cracking summer season, aided and abetted by the wonderful weather.
I think it does pay to be optimistic in these national uncertain times when our country is going through completely unchartered waters, with the onset of Brexit. Because the human condition is such that it can rise above adversity and make the best of life.
I was also pleased to read that artists from our twin town Rambouillet will be exhibiting in the town in connection with the Arts Festival and this continual rapprochement can only be life affirming and desirable.
So when all the festivities are over in January, let’s all keep an open mind with the consultation and begin to aim high and witness a much needed vision for our town. We have much to be proud of with the great cultural and community spirit engendered in our local libraries.
When they are being closed in so many towns and cities, their continuing presence in our area is a great cause for celebration and pride that the service in Norfolk is bucking the trend.
All our local theatres with their great pantomimes should be given a rousing cheer. I know I am biased but Robin Hood at St George’s Theatre is its usual customary and celebratory experience where we can all boo and hiss with joyful abandonment. So let’s get behind the council and see where this journey takes us and enjoy the ride, bumpy or otherwise.
JUDITH A DANIELS
We need proper dualling of A47
I certainly won’t be cheering if the Government belatedly get on with their “safety schemes” for the Acle Straight. That’s because anything they did now would be a total waste of time and money. Only proper dualling of the road will ever deliver road safety - and the modern road infrastructure that our town deserves.
The much-publicised trial movement of rare snails is supposed to open up the prospect of proper dualling of the road between 2020-25 so why would the Government want the Highways England to spend good money now on an inferior scheme that would probably be totally incompatible with that dualling scheme?
Worse still during the period of the works the A47 will be blighted with road closures that will hamper the reliability of road links and push unsuitable traffic onto the Filby Road between Caister and Acle.
Too many well-meaning people talk about the Acle Straight being “fine” and instead blame the motorist. That makes me quite angry. Thirty years ago Norfolk had over 100 people each year dying on our roads but a succession of road improvements and by-passes have drastically reduced those horrendous figures - down to 33 in 2015.
Dualling of roads provides proper separation of traffic to prevent head-on collisions and junctions are configured to eliminate the horrendous carnage that used to regularly happen at accident blackspots. Motorists travelling to Yarmouth today are not unlike motorists elsewhere - good roads make for good drivers!
In truth, Yarmouth and Lowestoft have been let down by national government for decades. The Acle Straight isn’t a single track A road linking a couple of rural Norfolk market towns - it is the main traffic artery linking the ports of Yarmouth and Lowestoft to the country’s main motorway system.
Over the years the inferior standard of the A47 has cost the town millions in inward investment and jobs for the local community. Our new deep water Outer Harbour has ushered in the prospect of thousands of new jobs in the energy sector in both towns over the coming decade.
Our local MPs need to get real. Dualling the Acle Straight will give businesses the kind of road links other parts of the country have had for 50 years, and not before time, and it will finally end the carnage of unnecessary loss of life. People before snails!
Yarmouth North and Central
Stop cycling in Market Place!
Just a request about people cycling through the Market Place and town centre in Great Yarmouth. Don’t do it please. There is a notice that says no cycling but we push our mum round in a wheelchair and have had several near misses with cyclists whizzing through at a fast pace.
Why is there no one to control this? It is downright dangerous.
A47/A12 is where problem arises
Although I no longer drive a motor vehicle, I set out my thoughts on the third river crossing for Great Yarmouth. I feel the main problem of traffic flow within the town is on the Gapton Hall and Breydon roundabouts where north to south and east to west traffic meet.
A third river crossing would alleviate this to some degree but mostly for traffic flowing from Gorleston to South Yarmouth.
My solution to the problem would be for a flyover with link roads where the A47 and A12 roads meet. Although this would be expensive and difficult to build, I suggest it would be cheaper than building a lifting bridge between Southtown and South Yarmouth. While we await the construction of a new bridge, lifting or fixed, there will be considerable planning blight in large areas of Southtown and South Yarmouth when new development and repair of existing building will probably be held up for 20 years.
I also question the utility of a lifting bridge nearer the harbour’s mouth as there is lots of wharfage available in the inner harbour south of the proposed bridge and I suspect the outer harbour will come to the fore after many years as the important area of the port in future.
When the lifting bridge over Breydon was proposed, there was some shipping going up to Cantley and Norwich but this seems to have ceased completely. The only time the Haven Bridge and the Breydon Bridge are opened these days is to let river trip boats and posh cruisers through.
In short, what I am asking that the funds for the survey of the third river crossing should also consider an A12–A47 flyover as an alternative.
Random act of kindness delight
While out for a Christmas visit to Bluebell Woods in Gorleston we came across a poster and tree which someone had taken the time to make festive.
The children loved it and would like to say thank you to whoever took the time to do it in return they left some Random Acts of Kindness which consisted of an envelope containing handmade Christmas themed keyrings.
Recognise right to express a view
Yet again I am confused by a letter from Mr Larson and I hasten to protest there has been nothing in any of my previous correspondence to suggest that I “share his disbelief at Mr Cooper’s announcement”.
I am not associated in any way with extremist organisations, either far left or right, but I do recognise their right to express their views so we are able to know them for what they are and judge them accordingly. From his comments I am led to believe Mr Cooper is of similar mind.
In conclusion nobody would be more pleased than I if our overloaded public services could find ways to cope but I must reiterate we have to honour our obligations to our descendants.
Minster festival a great success
A big thank you to all who placed a tree or crib in the 6th Great Yarmouth Minster Tree Festival. Forty-eight exhibits were placed and 784 adults and many children viewed them.
The children’s craft days and the teddy bear zip wire were a great success and just under £2,300 was raised for the restoration of the organ. The Mayor and the Mayoress judged that the tree entered by Sara’s Tea Rooms, constructed out of egg boxes and eggshells, was the best adult tree and the plastic cup creation by Northgate Primary School was the best children’s entry. The public vote for the best entry was Northgate Primary School with Time and Tide Stitchers as runners up.
Dr PAUL DAVIES
Cinema could go in an empty store
While reading your article about plans for redevelopment, and being in total agreement that the council want to change and improve the appearance of the town centre, I became quite perplexed.
The town already struggles with car parking and the public often air their views on this so why use up valued parking space for a cinema when we have two huge buildings sitting empty ie M&S and BhS? If a new cinema/leisure complex goes in a car park where will punters park?
If the council offered rewards to prospective businesses to take up the two aforementioned spaces and the owners did the same with the sales of the premises surely this would be more beneficial for all.
As a born and bred resident since 1963, it’s sad to see this historic town go downhill.
Thanks for letter writer’s words
Thanks to Paul Willison for his kind words in last week’s letters. Nice to know there are others locally who have not “bowed to Baal” (1 Kings 19:18).
Feast of Epiphany is still to come
By secular standards Christmas is long gone but by the standards and traditions of orthodox Christianity, Christmas-tide is barely half way through. In the spirit of orthodox Christianity, I send Christmas greetings to fellow readers and editorial staff.
We still have the great feast of Epiphany to look forward to, which celebrates the wise men visiting the new-born Prince of life. One wonders what those ancients would have made of current astrophysical phenomena seeing as the Book of Revelation was yet to be written.
But it is not too late to repent and petition the same Prince of life and heavenly bodies will be made to change their course. In the meantime, I suggest we enjoy the rest of Christmas tide: ‘eat, drink and be merry as tomorrow…well that’s another story.
Scots, Welsh and Irish; no English
Re Mr Larson’s letter last Week. Yes, I did write and say “England for the English” but not in the context Mr Larson speaks of.
It is in the penultimate paragraph of my letter, I point out that Ireland, Scotland and Wales all have in common the basic right to being known as Scots, Welsh, and Irish. English people in England do not have this right. We English are called British.
Because of all the immigrants coming from around the world to our green and pleasant land we have to say we are British so as not to upset the political correct crowd. As for his comment (a slogan only associated with the 1970s National Front) likening me to the NF, he has not checked up on me before putting pen to paper.
One of this week’s Times headlines are bound to upset Mr Larson, to quote “UK Economy confounds the dire warnings of remain campaign”. I believe all Mr Larson’s comments stem from him being a very sore loser.
What I do know is, 40 years ago when Britain was not in the EU life was so much better. We had our own laws, we had a passport control that was virtually impregnable in keeping our islands safe. And if a someone not from this country wanted to work in Britain, it was by invite if there was no-one capable in Britain to fill the vacancy.
The EU is at fault for all the woes. What started out as a Common Market ended up with a few hard-line unelected officers on disgustingly high salaries ruling the everyday lives of all in the 28 communities.
Mr Pownall does not say in his letter “England for the English” he should have a fresh look at Mr Pownall’s letter.
As for freedom of movement, I am all in favour but it must be controlled, correct passports and visas will ensure this. As for illegals they should be repatriated immediately on finding them.
I think friend Larson should have a rethink of all his letters and start to understand that Brexit is a democratic result and all should accept it.
JOHN L COOPER
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thank you to all our letter writers during 2016; you have kept these pages vibrant and topical - long may it continue.