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Villages hit hard by buses

PUBLISHED: 12:59 11 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:08 03 July 2010

ACCORDING to your story on the front page of The Mercury, June 5, villagers from Martham, Hemsby and surrounding villages have been hard hit by the introduction of First Eastern Counties Buses new zone area of Yar/Low.

ACCORDING to your story on the front page of The Mercury, June 5, villagers from Martham, Hemsby and surrounding villages have been hard hit by the introduction of First Eastern Counties Buses new zone area of Yar/Low.

I would like to point out that us townies have also had a 50pc fare increase. I and many others travel from the James Paget hospital to Lowestoft daily. This journey was covered by a Lowestoft ticket costing £42 per month.

As from June 7, the Lowestoft ticket does not go as far as the Paget and the Yarmouth ticket does not go as far as Lowestoft. Now we have to get the Yar/Low ticket costing £63 per month. A 50pc increase.

Not all passengers are being listened to by First Eastern Counties.

Now First Buses are going to be raking in extra revenue from us, can we expect a little of it to be spent on keeping the inside of the buses clean?

VALERIE A CLARK

Brasenose Avenue

Gorleston

TRAVELLING to Great Yarmouth from Gorleston has never been the most enjoyable car journey. Unfortunately, it seems to have gotten a lot worse. Since the “improvements” at the Gapton Hall Road roundabout, I have steadily become closer and closer to an accident.

Signs clearly state which lane you should be in on approach to the roundabout from the Gorleston bypass, but it's a free-for-all as people go onto the roundabout. The sign on approach clearly states: left lane to go left, centre lane to go straight across and right lane to go straight across or right. Therefore, if I want to go right, taking the left hand lane to exit, then I should clearly go into the centre lane on the roundabout? Should I not? Well, not according to a number of irate drivers and their passengers!

I've had verbal abuse from drivers approaching in the left lane, cutting in front of me as they were driving onto the centre lane of the roundabout and driving right from there. In fact, one male jumped out of his car to give me some unwanted words of advice, but had second thoughts when he saw I wasn't small and frail.

How I've not had an accident by people driving wrongly on that roundabout, I don't know. I've been driving almost 20 years accident-free and I don't want that to change. Apart from getting rid of the traffic lights, what we need are some clear road markings which guide people around the roundabout heading towards either of the Yarmouth bridges. There is on the return side of it. Why not the other way?

Has anybody else encountered problems on this roundabout? I'd like to hear some views.

J BRACEWELL

Gorleston

IN answer to the letter written by Vikki Overton in the Mercury, May 22, regarding the ownership of the café in the Central Arcade in Great Yarmouth. I worked there for approximately eight years in the early 1980s for a Mr and Mrs A Folkes who named the café “Chatsbys”; prior to this I think it was owned by a John McMamara. After Mr and Mrs Folkes left it was bought by a Mr and Mrs King but I can't remember if they kept the name. When Mr and Mrs King left, in the late 1980s it was taken over by an Italian whose first name was “Pero”. I hope this information will be useful.

Mrs A GRIMMER

Mostyn Road

Gorleston

WILL the many container ships expecting to bring prosperity to the gown have any effect on the water quality off the beach?

Will holidaymakers still want to come and enjoy the beach and paddle in the sea now that those hideous cranes have spoilt the view? Great Yarmouth's golden sands used to be one of the jewels but it now looks as if a large portion of central beach will be lost if the casino is built on the Marina Centre site.

Over the years, successive councils have never seemed to be able to decide whether to promote Yarmouth as a holiday destination or for industrial purposes, the result of which being a hotchpotch of unsuitable projects, the damage from which can never be undone.

PAULINE LYNCH

Mill Lane

Bradwell

PLEASE can I remind readers that cycle lanes are for cycles, you should not be walking your dog on them and definitely not allowing your dog to run loose and uncontrolled. Exercise your dogs on the grassy areas, not the paths.

I have been involved in a number of incidents on the Cliff Park cycle lane, which runs through the park. I have been chased (and caught) by a large Alsatian; have daily near-misses with dogs running loose and was actually knocked off to the ground by a Staffy last week, suffering cut and grazed hands and apple-sized bruising to my legs.

Today, I was forced to an emergency stop by a rude woman who had two dogs on extendable leads right across the Lowestoft Road cycle lane. She would not move out of my way, nor apologise for forcing me to stop. I pointed out where the footpath was, but she retorted “I know, but I prefer walking my dogs on here.”

People complain bitterly about cyclists on pavements, so please leave cycle lanes for cyclists.

JIM JAMES

Humber Keel

Gorleston

GREAT Yarmouth Town planners/spenders! What is your problem? You have some of the greatest history in the country yet you promote the tacky side of this much maligned area. We refer in particular to the Vauxhall railway bridge.

Please spend the £300,000 you have to eg paint it black and hang some baskets of flowers with Welcome to this Heritage Site. You have a rare gem and all you want is to promote the slot machines: shame on you!

This heritage site will no doubt go the same way as the Victorian shelter on North Denes; another part of history gone just because the town planners/spenders did not want to preserve another heritage site.

In order to attract more people you must revamp your image away from the slot machines. You have done well so far with the money spent to upgrade the seafront and lowering the loud pop music. With the new harbour you must attract people to stay and not just pass through. I do not live in your town but I am a frequent visitor. Please don't make us go somewhere else.

LIZ and ROMAN CZAJKOWSKI

Email

I HAVE just read your article on the website with regards to York Road Drill Hall and wanted to write to express my views.

I have been going to the hall for basketball sessions since I was 13 years old. I got in to the sport because both my mum and aunt play. The sessions they run are for every age and ability and provide something for the community.

When Jim West explained to me and others at training that the drill hall may be changed into a youth club we were all outraged. The idea it seems is to give something to the youth of Great Yarmouth; this is something basketball does, and there are other groups that use the hall on a regular basis. These groups also have teenagers as members, so in theory something will be taken way from these individuals by changing it. Even now we have youngsters joining.

I do hope the drill hall lives on as it is. To take it away would be a disgrace.

LEONIE MANTHORPE

Violet Close

Bradwell

I HAVE been a regular user of the Drill Hall for the past three years. I play basketball there and am really happy to be able to play my favourite sport in a small, friendly environment and it's cheap too. A lot of local youths use it too and although it is not a youth club, it currently provides a place for them to go, meet friends and keep active. Please keep it a Drill Hall!

PENNY SHORTEN

Ludham

IT was with both amazement and dismay I learned of Norfolk County Council proposals to turn the York Road Drill Hall into a youth centre, with apparent complete disregard for its hundreds of current users.

I am one of approximately 100 members of the badminton/short tennis club for the over 55s. We meet every Wednesday and Thursday morning and at any one session you will find all four courts in constant use. Some players are well into their seventies and eighties and we all not only enjoy the physical activity but also the social side of the club too.

Where else are we and other users of the venue going to find a similar facility? At a time when both health officials and government are urging us all to lead a more healthy and active lifestyle, it seems madness to close this one off to so many people.

Reading this you think that I am against the youth of our town having its resources but this is not the case. One only has to look in the sports section of the Mercury each week to see the progress of our youngsters in football, athletics, martial arts, swimming and drama to name but a few to realise that the opportunity to participate in these activities is already there if they wish to take advantage of them.

I suspect much of the drive by the council to transform the Drill Hall is actually motivated by money and the securing of funding for a youth centre is merely a means of improving a listed building at little cost to themselves. If this is the case, then I strongly urge them to think again and find other means of raising the money in order that a gain for a few is not at the expense of so many.

MRS A LOFTIN

Bradwell

SO Tony Wright does not consider the £10,000 given to him in relation to his Dolphin Square flat to be taxpayers' money. Tony Wright was only able to live in Dolphin Square courtesy of the taxpayer, so surely it would have been the appropriate course of action for him to pass that money back to the taxpayer.

Despite not being a Labour voter, I have always had a fairly good opinion of Tony Wright, but having read his column in last week's Mercury, it is clear he is as arrogant (how good of him to have saved us £10,000 on his allowances last year) and as self-pitying (should the tax-payer not have the right to know what he is claiming and question it?) as all the other members of parliament involved in this expenses scandal.

No, Mr Wright, it is not called desperation mud-slinging, it is called democracy.

JOAN MORRELL

Clarence Road

Gorleston

WHAT a terrible week for the Labour Party with the loss of important five county council seats in the Yarmouth area. Our candidates polled just 25pc of the votes to the Tories' 44pc, with UKIP (without any real policies for the county) coming in third on an anti-Europe platform with nearly 19pc and snatching the Yarmouth Nelson and Southtown.

Our experienced team of county councillors has played a key role in getting county investment in the borough throughout the past 16 years, now just one, Colleen Walker, remains in post in a much-reduced Labour group at County Hall. They will be sorely missed!

My fear is that a largely rural-focused Conservative group will now cutback on spending in the Yarmouth area. Readers should be assured that the 15 Labour councillors on Great Yarmouth Borough Council will not be bowed by these short term reverses in fortune. We will continue the job of championing the interests of local people and working to win the re-election of Tony Wright as our local MP at the General Election.

Continued involvement with Europe is very important to Yarmouth's East Port and the town's future prosperity, so we will work closely with our newly re-elected Labour MEP Richard Howitt to win over local people to see the threat posed by the anti-Europe policies of the UKIP, BNP and many Conservative MEPs. It's important for local jobs.

Cllr MICK CASTLE

Yarmouth Central and Northgate

Great Yarmouth

I WAS surprised to see The Mercury give Tony Wright such an easy ride following the revelation that he accepted, on behalf of the taxpayer, a higher rent for his London flat while pocketing the money intended as compensation for the increase. Not only is this quite outrageous, he has the gall to maintain he has done nothing wrong. Talk about not getting it!

As well the £10,000 that so clearly should have gone to the taxpayer (who after all had to bear the extra cost of his rent), he regularly claimed the maximum amount of additional costs allowance and treated himself to £400 worth of food per month at our expense. Bon appetit.

Mr Wright states: “I have never acted illegally”. What a defence! How about acting morally and hand over this lump sum to the taxpayer, or preferably local charities where it can do some good? No doubt his supporters will point to him being a good constituency MP, but is he? A quick check will reveal that he hardly ever speaks or asks a question in the Commons and he is certainly not over-burdened with committee work. According to the website, theyworkforyou.com, Mr Wright “hardly ever rebels” against the government.

It has to be admitted he is very good at getting his photo in your paper on a weekly basis. For example, when appearing to oppose post office closures, only to be conveniently absent on the day when he could have rebelliously voted for a delay and review of closures.

If we disagree with Mr Wright, he invites us to exercise our “democratic right at the ballot box”. I certainly intend to do so. In the meantime Tony Wright might give himself a better chance of being re-elected by writing out a cheque for £10,000 to a worthy cause.

COLIN COLDMAN

Palgrave Road

Great Yarmouth

WE are not the same. I would like to thank all the residents of Bradwell North, Burgh Castle and Claydon who voted for me on Thursday, June 4. It was very disappointing to have lost my county council seat after eight years.

During that time I have endeavoured to help and assist all residents with their problems and concerns as quickly and effectively as possible, but unfortunately national politics affects the outcome of local elections.

And good local councillors lose their seats through no fault of their own. Understandably residents were angered by the MP's expenses scandal, but it should be pointed out that unlike MP's, councillors receive a basic allowance and very limited expenses, details of which are published in the local press on an annual basis.

TREVOR J WAINWRIGHT

I WOULD like to thank First Eastern Counties, especially the driver who went out of his way to help after my mum, who is in her late 70s and disabled, after her bus pass wallet, containing her national disabled bus pass, library card and debit card was lost on the bus. This was the 1B at 5.36pm from Great Yarmouth to Scratby on Friday, May 22. Unfortunately I can't thank the person who found it and kept it. My mum was unable to get any rest on Friday due to the person not handing in the pass wallet, not that it would be any good to them. On the Saturday, due to lack of rest, my mum had an accident, resulting in a broken rib. Since returning home it has cost so far this week over £70 in bus fares and taxis, to and from shopping and visits to the doctor. It takes time for a pass to be renewed; it would have taken the person only seconds to hand their find to the driver.

So to the driver a very big thank you for all your help. To the finder, well there's not much to say, except if you lose something and its not handed in you will know how it feels. If you have a conscience, please hand it in to the police or send it on to First bus, address is on the reverse of the pass.

JACKIE C PANTRY

Bramley

Leeds

I AM writing to say a huge thank you to the people of Yarmouth North and Central for electing me their county councillor last Thursday. I would like to take this opportunity to pledge to work hard for all my constituents, regardless of their politics, and Great Yarmouth. As a young person, I believe we have a lot to be proud of in the town, but there's also things, that if changed, would have a massive effect on the day-to-day lives of residents. Issues such as speeding along Caister Road and the land on Salisbury Road, which if used as a car park, would improve the safety of both motorists and schoolchildren. During my campaign to be elected, I met many people with things that if resolved would improve their lives and I will endeavour to re-visit everyone I met in due course. If you are reading this, and would like to discuss an issue with me, please feel free to e-mail me at thomasgarrod55@gmail.com.

On a personal note, I would like to thank my family and friends, including Brandon Lewis and his team who have supported me throughout my campaign.

TOM GARROD

I WONDER how many of your readers remember “copper holes”? These were in most kitchens of houses before the war. Most of the household rubbish was burnt in the copper-hole and the water in the copper was heated by the fire.

As few married women went to work, Monday became the traditional wash-day. Unfortunately in Yarmouth the tall destructor was bombed and I believe the war damage money received by the council was only £1,000; hence the purchase of land at Cobholm as a rubbish tip. In my opinion incineration is the answer to avoid the use of land-filling for rubbish.

CECILIA EBBAGE

Lovewell Road

Gorleston

HOW I sympathise with Peggotty over his loathing of PT, bred in his schooldays, as was mine. Being the shortest girl in the class, the slowest runner, with no eye for a ball and apt to get giddy, it was no wonder that I was often humiliated when nobody wanted me in their team. Sports programmes are wasted on me; sports columns are at once discarded; and I really couldn't care less who wins at a national or international event. The joyful day when I shook the PT class dust from my feet for ever; the knowledge that never again would I stand on frozen ground (naturally) in goal on the hockey pitch; and never again be cast aside as useless, set me free for ever. Small wonder I feel strongly that children should not be forced into things for which they are clearly unsuited - and unhappy.

MISS R L FARMER

Marine Parade

Gorleston

More Letters on page 12

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