I WAS pleased to read the article concerning new bus and parking plans at Airedale Hospital – ‘Hospital reveals new bus route and parking plans’ (Craven Herald, January 28).
I am a very regular visitor to the hospital and have been corresponding with them on a regular basis since the beginning of October concerning the difficulty in obtaining a disabled parking place in the car park just outside the outpatients entrance.
I began to look into this at the beginning of October when the work started in the outpatients reception and three disabled bays were immediately lost.
I started to note what was happening in that car park, and I reported back to the trust on many occasions that there were up to 18 staff cars parked there and numerous cars without a ticket at all. It is extremely frustrating being limited to where you park, and even more so when it is being abused.
I was assured by Mel Jackson (fire, security and car park management) that several measures had been put in to place to address these issues but, as to date, I have never seen one security officer checking the cars in that car park, and I visit the hospital at least once or twice a week.
I have in fact missed appointments as I have been unable to access a disabled bay. One of my suggestions was that three more disabled bays could be created during the works to compensate for those lost, but this was not actioned. I have to say that both David Moss (interim deputy director of strategy, business development, estates and facilities) and Mel Jackson have responded to my e-mails and have given me a phone number to ring if I can’t find a parking place.
This is very thoughtful but, as I have assured them, this does not address the issues that disabled drivers are confronted with on a daily basis. Meanwhile, staff continue to park in a patient-only car park.
A larger drop-off area, which is referred to in the aforementioned article, would be welcomed, I am sure, and I’ve been told that all of the parking places in the lower car park will become disabled bays.
This is great but the issue is now for me, not months ahead. Parking at any hospital, whether disabled or not, is always a frustrating process, but I am convinced that if only a few measures are implemented then life would be a lot easier for everyone.
I want to see some action being taken immediately, so if you are a driver with a disability who has been frustrated by the difficulty in accessing a disabled parking bay, I would love to hear from you.
Lang Kirk Close, Farnhill

CARLETON Road is in a conservation area and the law states: “the designation of a conservation area indicates your council's positive commitment to these areas and its intention to preserve and enhance the quality of the environment”.
This is a very powerful statement, and what I am trying to do is engage Craven District Council (CDC), North Yorkshire Highways, The York and North Yorkshire Road Safety Partnership, Julian Smith, Henry Boot, all residents impacted and any other interested parties in constructive discussions around preserving the conservation area and creating a safe and quality environment for residents, pedestrians and road users.
Contrary to the belief of CDC, I am not trying to prevent The Wyvern Park development, as I cannot do so as it has been approved, subject to certain conditions being met. What I am trying to do is deal with a current issue that will be made far worse once the development is built and linked to the town, and that issue is Carleton Road and adjoining roads.
Carleton Road cannot cope with current traffic volume and is a nightmare for pedestrians, who have to cross over at various points due to the pavement only being available on one side or the other. Go forward a short period of time and there will be construction traffic followed by the increase in use from the new development of an average of 1,000 journeys per day.
During the development period, contractors will need to park in Carleton Road and Carleton New Road, and this will reduce access to the cemetery and limit parking available.
When the development is complete, the plans show there will not be enough car parking for the business park, and so users will have to park in Carleton Road and Carleton New Road. Both roads are hazardous now and, therefore, can only become more so unless immediate action is taken.
Where is the “positive commitment” of CDC to the conservation area? At present, there is no positive commitment, which is incredibly disappointing, and I urge CDC to start working with the community now to ensure that as Wyvern Park is developed, the conservation area is preserved and enhanced.
Thank you for all of the e-mails, which I have been delighted to receive and acknowledge. Please e-mail me at tim@timforman.com if you require further information.

IT was interesting to see that the Yorkshire Dales National Park has submitted its new local plan – ‘Plans submitted for national park vision’ (Craven Herald, February 4).
With all the complexities of coming up with a plan for what can be built in a national park, it is surprising that they have achieved this whilst Craven District Council continues to have no plan – ‘Residents consulted again on local plan (Craven Herald, February 4).
The absence of this plan exposes us dangerously to development. Without a plan, how can local people show that any particular development is not needed whereas another is useful?
Worse still, as the excellent letter from David Walsh last week – Flexible on housing – pointed out, the draft plan being prepared is for more than 250 homes a year. If this is submitted, and if the Bristol-based bureaucrats that the Conservatives put in charge of our local future agree to it, then we are at real risk of finding local communities constantly railroaded into accepting inappropriate development because we are behind on the target.
Worst of all, however, is the record of our local council in extracting reasonable terms from developers and putting reasonable conditions on them.
Tim Forman’s letter points out a typical example (‘Answer the questions’). More than 100 homes are proposed for Wyvern Park. Partly on the flood plain, with poorly planned road access and with missed opportunities to relieve heavy traffic use of Engine Shed Lane.
I would add a couple more questions to his excellent list of common sense points that really should have been asked by councillors well before we reached this point.
Exactly how many of the new homes are affordable ones for local people? What exactly is the planning gain for the local community? During the building work, will the council let the developers get away with as much as they did in developing the land occupied by the old council offices, where residents were constantly astonished by the lack of challenge?
Clearly, we need homes in Craven. But if we are going to build, then we need our councillors to be much better at standing up to developers and protecting local communities.
Green Party
Main Street, Cononley

I AM writing this on my 68th birthday because I owe my life and health to the National Health Service.
I was struck down by bacterial meningitis early in October last year. I was rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary by West Yorkshire Ambulance Service. My life was saved in the intensive care unit and stabilised in the acute medical wards.
During those three weeks, I experienced a level of medical care I didn’t know existed. The extraordinary thing I realised is that this level of expertise and attention is my right as a British subject.
In the past months, I have had careful outpatient care for the residual effects of balance, vision, hearing and physiological healing at five hospitals in West and North Yorkshire, all the while gaining my original strength and functioning.
I was born in 1948 as the NHS was funded. I am still here, and so is the NHS, our national treasure, our right to be healthy as British subjects.
I wish I could trust – I certainly hope – that the NHS is here for at least another 68 years.
Perhaps we should let the NHS have a birthday celebration each year so we can celebrate what it means to us.
Whinfield Court, Skipton

IN the article ‘The fight to flight for iconic bird’, in last week’s DalesLife section of the Craven Herald, reporting on the action plan developed to save the threatened hen harrier, I note that “there are believed to be about 6,500 breeding pairs in the UK”.
That would appear to be a very good number of hen harriers compared with how many actually manage to rear a brood successfully – only six pairs in England last year.
Of course, that figure of 6,500 was incorrect and should have read 650 breeding pairs.
Even that number of pairs should mean that hen harriers increase their numbers considerably year on year, but they don’t.
There are many reasons why these beautiful birds are disappearing from our upland landscapes, illegal persecution being one.
I hope the new plans published by Defra to help improve the conservation status of hen harriers in England gives this iconic species a chance to raise its chicks and improve its numbers during the next few years, but I doubt they will.
I ask the Moorland Association; how many pairs of hen harriers would you like there to be in five years time in the Yorkshire Dales?
The Green, Hellifield

MAY I, in the strongest terms possible, encourage all your readers in whatever way possible (e.g. e-mail action@38degrees.org.uk) to protest against the outrageous removal of the archive photographic collection of the Media Museum Bradford to the V&A in London.
This decision was taken approximately a year ago without any consultation with Bradford and is now being put into effect.
The Media Museum is supposedly a national museum of photography, television and film under the umbrella of the Science Museum, so where is the respect for such an institution?
The V&A’s cellars are full of material that they have no space to display, so why do they need this collection from Bradford?
I must come to the conclusion that it is yet another example of the North/South divide.
Badger Gate, Threshfield

IF a Grade I listed bridge built in the 1300s has cracks developing, how can it be considered safe? – ‘Fears are raised over cracks in historic bridge’ (Craven Herald, February 11).
North Yorkshire County Council’s definition of ‘safe’ is probably a variable figure depending on the state of its budget.
I live in Farnhill, just over the bridge, and it is a beautiful piece of work. A credit to the monks.
Perhaps we can get the results of the recent inspection in writing.
There should be government money available for this.
I bet the money would be found if it was down south.! There are supposed to be funds available to cover flood damage.

WE are residents of Long Preston but we were never informed of any problem regarding water quality – Villagers berate council over ‘delays’ in issuing a boil-water advisory (Craven Herald, February 11).
No letter or visit from a council officer.
We had our grandchildren staying during the weekend and they need fresh water to drink or diluted fruit juices.
Both the children are under two years old and we now feel let down by Craven District Council.
Should the water have been contaminated, then we may have had two seriously sick grandchildren.
Greenbank, Long Preston

I HAVE just received from Craven District Council a form to enable me to renew my garden waste subscription.
I notice the charge has been increased by £2 to £26. I also notice that the collection starts on April 1, 2016.
Last year, when I renewed my subscription, I was also sent a calendar for 2015/17, which states the start date for 2016 is March 1 and the end date is February 28, 2017. So it appears we’ll be paying £2 more for fewer less collections.
How many other residents have noticed this?
Lynndale Avenue, Cross Hills