Readers' letters - February 22

A correspondent calls for a public transport revolution
A correspondent calls for a public transport revolution

On the buses – let’s start public transport revolution

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Re: Public transport.
I myself am a car owner, and have recently had a go at using public transport to get to work. I was pleasantly surprised. The only way for our public transport services to properly thrive is for us to start using them.
The problem is that if one has already purchased a car, paid for the insurance, paid for the tax and filled it up with fuel, it’s very rarely going to be more cost-effective to use public transport.
This is perhaps utopian thinking.
However, imagine if instead of spending our hard-earned money on personal vehicles, we instead invested it in our own public transport, which would create a world class infrastructure and make getting around using the service a dream.
The money we spend on cars flows out of the town never to be seen again, whereas if it were spent on our public transport, it would stay in the town, create jobs, boost the economy, and give us a public transport network that could be the envy of the world!
Revolutions start somewhere, but how can we tip the balance and get people out of their cars and on to buses and trams?
It’s nearly cheaper to use public transport instead of taking the car, but not quite.
If we could somehow incentivise public transport, then the revolution could begin!
Ross Chambers
Address supplied

Awareness of Parkinson’s

In recent weeks, we have heard an alarming number of stories about people with Parkinson’s being misunderstood or mistreated by the staff of public-facing businesses across the UK.
Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition. This means that it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time.
Parkinson’s affects
everyone differently, but the main symptoms are tremor (shaking), slowness of movement, and rigidity (muscle stiffness).
Other symptoms can also include depression, anxiety, hallucinations, memory problems and dementia.
Lack of public understanding can make simple things like getting the bus, paying at a checkout or even going for a coffee with friends daunting for people with Parkinson’s.
To make matters worse, Parkinson’s UK research shows one in every four people have had their condition confused for drunkenness, and one in ten have been laughed at in public due to their symptoms.
We also know that one in three people with Parkinson’s have felt the need to cover up their symptoms, because they’re not seen as socially acceptable.
This is completely unacceptable. It’s time to change.
Parkinson’s UK has created a free and easily accessible Parkinson’s in your workplace training package and, via an open letter, the charity is calling on all businesses to roll out the training and make sure their staff understand Parkinson’s and can support their customers’ needs.
To join the campaign and call for businesses to better understand Parkinson’s, visit
Together we can raise awareness and make society more understanding of Parkinson’s.
Steve Ford
Chief Executive of Parkinson’s UK

Homes are not for investment

I’m somewhat cynical that it is only now young middle-class professionals are excluded from affording housing that the issue has made the front pages.
For, thanks to continually rising prices, ordinary working people have been unable to get on the housing ladder for years.
Still, concern is better late than never I suppose.
And I think the major way forward is to get people to think homes are for living in, and not objects for investments.
Which is why we should clamp down on developers, who buy up the cheapest properties that otherwise might be affordable.
Councils also ought to be allowed greater scope to build good housing for rent, with the proviso that it can’t be sold off under any right to buy legislation.
Tim Mickleburgh
Address supplied

Will has ‘George Best eyes’

Don’t know if anyone else has noticed it but Wigan’s Will Grigg has got George Best’s eyes.
Joe Dawson