Reader Letters: January 31

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Accidents rise not due to camera loss

With regards to the letter in the Chronicle & Echo (Jan 17) by Jill Hope, ‘Time to turn the speed cameras back on’.

The turning off of the speed cameras has not caused more accidents. Speed cameras are part of the nanny state mentality. They look important, you can warn people that they are ahead, even the local media can join in.

There are many variables to the cause of accidents, many mentioned by Jill Hope. Driving under the influence of drugs, prescribed and elicit, is another factor.

High on my list would be the abysmal standard of driving and the lack of knowledge of the Highway Code, some down to new foreign drivers who maybe can’t read or understand the English language. Then there are those from all races, colour and creeds that believe that no rules apply to them!

If Jill Hope wants to do something useful, she should petition for more mobile and hand-held cameras with police in attendance.

Our thoughts should be with the loved ones of those involved in road traffic accidents.

Turning speed cameras back on will change nothing.

V Graham-Hole

Elgin Street

Thousands hit by cuts to benefits

I am suprised that there has been little publicity about the cuts to council tax benefit which are taking place. I understand that 11,500 low income people of working age in Northampton – millions nationally – who currently receive full or partial benefit will be facing a shock when tax bills start arriving in March.

The absence of a meaningful consultation process by the borough council is a disgrace.

Surely this shock for 11,500 people in our town is worthy of a major report?

This is another disgraceful attack on low income people by the Tories and Lib-Dems.

Geoff Howes

Melbourne House

Moved by kindness
of motorist

I’d like to say a massive thank you to the lady in a light blue car, who stopped and made sure I was ok when the chain came off my motorbike on Saturday, January 12, at around 11.10am near the Iceland store in St James.

Her concern amazed me and will not be forgotten.

Also many thanks to the lads at the Northants V-Twin who picked me up within five minutes and had me back on the road within an hour.

My faith in humanity has been restored somewhat by random acts of kindness.

Miss K Pearson


Not too late to halt bus station plan

While Greyfriars Bus Station still stands, it is not too late to cease work on its replacement on the Fishmarket site.

The project should never have been approved, as the new scheme is misconceived and will prove a totally inadequate substitute.

The essential fact which the council seems unable to grasp is that, at present, everything takes place under one roof. Buses put down in the same spot they pick up from, but using the Drapery will require incoming buses to drop off passengers, some of whom may want to change to another service which runs from the bus station and vice versa.

The seven routes relegated to the Drapery will also mean buses having to turn round before taking up the waiting people on the other side of the road, and possibly somehow changing drivers.

The letter last week from Alan Jones prompted me to write again.

The present bus station works well because it forms a large roundabout, with outside traffic circulating in a clockwise direction, making it easy for buses to join the flow as they leave Greyfriars.

The shape, size and position of the Fishmarket building can only result in constant traffic chaos in the town, and the addition of a new pedestrian crossing on Sheep Street, plus the volume of the normal traffic in all directions, will add to the confusion.

Bus timetables will suffer, as will the unfortunate people whose routes are being relegated to the streets.

The council must cancel the project and find another use for the Fishmarket site.

The eventual fuss will not be as damaging as a continuance of the scheme.

Local people must call for the end to this madness. Fewer people are likely to use the town centre if an inadequate bus service is forced on them.

G W Larkman

Elmhurst Court

Back to the dark days of no lighting

I guess everyone’s relieved that the snow’s gone at last, even as recently as last Saturday the pavements were still treacherous, and I know many older people were nervous of slipping and falling.

But there is one unexpected benefit of all that snow that we will miss.

While the pavements and trees were laden with bright, white snow, it was so much easier driving around than in the pitch dark we have been subjected to since the Conservative county council turned off half the lights.

You could see where you were going and everything was so much brighter and lighter.

So now it’s back to the stygian gloom until the clocks change in March.

My hairdresser has told me that it’s so dark where she has to catch her bus, that her boyfriend walks her to the bus stop every morning and waits with her later.

A resident in Roselands, Briar Hill, told me her daughter can’t come to see her in the evenings because she’s too frightened of the dark.

Residents tell me that the walkways in Briar Hill are completely unusable because they’re so dark.

Lots of small, very personal difficulties arising from a decision that the Conservatives didn’t have to implement, as we outlined in our alternative budget.

Jill Hope

Sixfields Lib Dem FOCUS team

Support our day to back all women

Friday, March 8 this year will mark the 102nd anniversary of International Women’s Day.

Across the world, from Australia to Afghanistan, people will be celebrating the day in a variety of ways, from giving a gift of flowers to coming together to discuss women’s rights.

March 8 is a day of celebration, but it is also a time to get together and show our support for women who face the challenging obstacles of poverty, discrimination and domestic violence.

In the UK, Oxfam is asking people to celebrate the day by hosting a Get Together event with family, friends or work colleagues to help transform the lives of women and girls around the world.

The money you raise will go towards Oxfam’s work with women, helping to improve maternal healthcare, give girls access to education and helping women to set up sustainable businesses that benefit their families and communities.

Unfortunately the reality is that women experience extreme poverty the most; the majority of people living in poverty are women and young girls.

Oxfam is working to overcome this disparity by investing in projects that give women a hand up, not a hand out; helping them to find a voice against violence and a path to lasting economic empowerment .

On March 8, 2013, do whatever you love to do, and do it in support of women worldwide.

For more information or to register to host your own Oxfam Get Together celebration, you can contact me at, or tweet me at @GetTogetherMids. Alternately visit the website to sign up:
gettogether today.

Sophia Lewis

Oxfam UK

Naked film stunt was for charity

The naked organist pictured in last week’s Looking Back is John Ferrio (my father in law).

The reason for the naked picture was for Children in Need.

Around £700 was raised for the charity and John was the only one who had the bottle to pose naked to raise funds.

John is still showing films today at Lings Forum Cinema, Northampton... although he is fully clothed these days.

Jane Ferrio