Where a disaster is waiting to happen

SIR - With reference to your report on February 21 about motorists allegedly interfering with the work of the emergency services, you don't have to look any further than Canal Road, namely Midland Terrace. On Bradford City match days motorists regularly double-park on a main road, and I heartily agree that one day this will cause a tragedy despite repeated requests that motorists should not park like this.

It is inevitable that it is only a matter of time before tragedy strikes. Will it be me or one of the other residents? It seems that no-one at Bradford City or the authorities seem to be able to do anything about it.

At other major football venues, you are not allowed to park anywhere near the ground and you have to park in designated parking spaces/car parks. What makes Bradford City so special?

Maybe I can sleep in my front garden when my house burns down because the fire brigade cannot get anywhere near! I respect the heritage of the club and I am pleased to see the good work and respect that Bradford City contribute to the community, but it is time to take our heads out of the sand!

James Worrilow, Midland Terrace, Bradford.

On deaf ears?

SIR - I refer to the recent appeal from Marsha Singh MP urging people to get their hearing checked. I phoned the appropriate number (RNID) and was told that my hearing was below normal and to see my GP, which I did.

After about two weeks I had a letter from the audiology department at the BRI saying they had received a letter from my doctor to assess my hearing, but unfortunately the waiting list was approximately ten months.

That means it will probably be next year before I get a hearing aid.

I hope my family can put up with me asking them to repeat most of the things I have just said.

Mrs D Ayre, Flower Hill, Bradford.

Funding is the key

SIR - By taking a few unrepresentative examples, Mike Priestley tries to prove that the 'NHS is a mess'.

It is clearly unsatisfactory for individuals to be kept waiting for up to 72 hours but in those three days another two million people will have had contact with a health professional.

Inevitably, some will find their experience unsatisfactory but this is not indicative of a general failing, more likely the consequence of an unforeseen increase in urgent cases.

I am sure Mr Priestley knows the function of central government is limited to commissioning health services from a variety of local agencies, and it is their managers (who he believes to be hopeless) who have overall responsibility for delivery according to DoH targets.

His criticisms of management are hurtful and wholly undeserved because not everything can be done at once.

Priorities have to be set according to clinical need, even though this might cause offence by making the less serious cases wait longer.

This is not a 'typically bureaucratic response' nor a reaction by frustrated doctors and nurses, but simply an acknowledgement that the work of the NHS must always be limited by the level of funding the taxpayer will tolerate.

Brian Holmans, Langley Road, Bingley.

Why the delay?

SIR - It is rightly said that the first duty of any nation's legislature is to protect the safety of its citizens.

So the total ban on smoking in enclosed public places will fulfil that obligation, as it will save infinitely more lives than any conceivable risk from, say, terrorism or even road accidents.

I was particularly pleased to see that all three Bradford MPs, plus Mrs Cryer, voted for the ban, as I would like to think that the T&A's commendably-dogged anti-smoking campaign played a part in their decision.

One question remains, however. How long does it take to gather up all those heavy, glass ashtrays in pubs and clubs and consign them to recycling bins? Surely not 15 or 16 months!

Peter Wilson, Thornhill Grove, Calverley.

Tesco welcome

SIR - Regarding the Tesco plans for Queensbury. One of the objectors in your report of February 16 stated "...it will sound the village death knell". I am sorry to say that happened years ago with the closure of Fosters Mill. The village high street then had three butchers, two bakers and two greengrocers which sadly closed and have never been replaced. Since that time the population has grown due to the many housing developments, which are still ongoing.

Tesco would be most welcome in creating prosperity and jobs for the Queensbury area, and also helping bring back shoppers who go elsewhere to the large supermarkets.

Residents of Ashbourne Crescent have signed and submitted a petition in favour of Tesco plans. So come on, councillors: give us your support as we have given you ours over the years.

Mrs Marjorie Tooby, Ashbourne Crescent, Queensbury.

Time to get out

SIR - E Firth (T&A, February 9) seems to doubt the British people's desire for freedom from European Union rule. Unfortunately the facts do not support the story.

In July 2005 a You Gov poll asked: If a referendum were held and these were the available options, which would you choose?

The results were very enlightening; with 50 per cent saying Britain should leave the European Union and replace our membership with a free trade agreement while only 34 per cent preferred we continued our membership of the EU.

If polls are not your thing then you only need to look back to the 2004 European Election when the issue of European integration was high on the agenda. Sixteen per cent of the population voted literally for UK Independence.

The claim that outside the EU the UK would sink without a trace is quite honestly nonsense.

In fact in a country free from EU rule we would save £40 million per day, our economy would benefit from the de-regulation of business and we would have the ability to trade not only with the EU, but also with the rest of the world.

Jason Smith, Town Gate, Wyke.

Chance of reprieve

SIR - Barbara Crompton wrote (February 16) that criminals on death row in the States are punished twice. In my opinion this is rubbish; while there is life, reprieve is possible and some have been reprieved and those who haven't will have had years, which their victims have not, to think of their heinous crime before they die for it.

People say that capital punishment is legalised murder, so then fines and prison sentences could be defined as legalised theft and kidnapping, in that order.

I personally think that the person who shot dead the Labrador pup deserves the death penalty or at least prison for life!

P E Bird, Nab Wood Terrace, Shipley.

Look in a mirror

SIR - Peter Wilson's invitation to a discussion ("Humourless God", T&A, February 17) lacks a spiritual dimension.

"Does God have a sense of humour?" he asks; but is barred from asking that as he hasn't got a God to put into the debate! May I suggest that Peter does what I do to answer that question - just look in a mirror!

Walter Metcalfe, Central Avenue, Shipley.

Show concerns

SIR - I am writing to express my concern that the Alhambra and Council have allowed Jerry Springer: The Opera to come to Bradford.

I am concerned for the city. I have lived and worked here for 30 years. God has given me a heart for this city and I want to see it blessed and prospered. God loves this city and all the people who live here.

I believe going ahead with this show would be a big mistake. I also believe those of us who are opposed to the show should book to see another performance at The Alhambra to show our commitment to the theatre and to help offset the financial loss of cancellation (which I believe will be minimal and temporary).

Andrew Clayton-Stead, Cropredt Close, Queensbury.

A funny example

SIR - In response to Peter Wilson's letter, of course God has a sense of humour, the duck-billed platypus being just one example!

Mrs B Barlow, Holmfield Court, Thornton Road, Bradford.