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Fine these lorries

YET another driver causes his vehicle to hit a bridge (SA 26 Oct), I say this simply because it’s true.

A lorry can only hit a bridge if the driver allows it to happen and in Swindon it happens too frequently.

There are some who say that more should be done to alert drivers to the danger, I’m not sure how many signs, poles or bars can stop someone from being so reckless.

According to Network Rail:

43 per cent of lorry drivers admit to not knowing the size of their vehicle

52 per cent of drivers admit to not taking low bridges into account when planning their journeys

On average, each bridge strike costs £13,500 and causes two hours of delays to train services

What will concentrate the minds of the drivers and the companies which employ them, is if they were billed the £13,500 which it is said each strike costs, and somehow I doubt that sum includes a figure for the inconvenience caused to commuters.

DES MORGAN, Caraway Drive, Swindon

Ambulances needed

AS THE Adver correctly says in its editorial (SA, 26 October), we cannot know at the moment whether Lynda Manning’s life might have been saved if an ambulance had reached her promptly after her fall.

What is clear from this and other recent incidents is that the number of ambulances now available to meet the needs of the people of Swindon is far less than the number required.

The longer the NHS is denied the required level of funding as a result of this Government’s austerity policies, the more people will suffer.

The Chancellor has an opportunity to change course and abandon austerity in his budget on November 22. Our local MPs should demand that he does so.

PETER GALLAGHER, Folkestone Road, Swindon

Alarm over road plans

I SAW the letter from David Collins in connection with the Eastern villages.

I was alarmed about the road plans, the £15m bridge over the A419 for buses and bikes only. This is short-sighted, as it should cover other road vehicles as well.

Shutting off Ermin Street and Merlin Way will put too much traffic on to Oxford Road and other Stratton roads.

I would like to suggest the Adver checks this out and starts a campaign to get some common sense into this Eastern Villages plan and the effects it will have on Stratton.

DAVE WATTS, address supplied

Respect red poppies

I’M AFRAID I must disagree with the letter by Martin Webb (Oct 26) where he suggests that we should all wear the white poppy in support of conscientious objectors and pacifists.

The white poppy suggests some criticism of those who died defending freedom and democracy. The Remembrance Day poppy has been used since 1921 to commemorate the British military personnel who have died in wars.

Many people, such as myself, love their country and believe it is worth defending. We wear the red poppy to show respect and give thanks to those who gave their lives defending their country, Some would still be alive today had they not perished on the beaches of Normandy liberating Europe.

MARTIN COSTELLO, Eldene, Swindon

Climate change facts

ROGER Lack replied to my letter stating it wasn’t worth replying to as I used insults instead of arguments to make a point.

He replied using facts so I will answer them.

Quite bizarrely, though, he does write anyone he insults should give up reading.

He quite correctly writes that ‘wind, rain, snow, hurricanes, heatwaves etc are all forms of weather’.

But we surely are discussing climate change and climate surely is the average occurrence of weather events?

If there are storms, deluges, blizzards, particularly powerful hurricanes or extreme heatwave, these are weather events and do not affect the average.

If, however, there is a year-on-year increase in these events it alters the averages and thus alters the climate, that is climate change and this is what is happening.

The two events in the Antarctic he mentioned as being contradictory, penguins being trapped in ice and polar bears (in the Arctic actually) being endangered because of lack of ice. If he thinks warming can’t cause things to thaw and then form ice, I suggest he leaves the freezer open for a while and then shuts it and observes the result.

STEVE THOMPSON, Norman Road, Swindon

Free trade disaster

THE free movement of goods within the EU Single Market has resulted in a flood of cheap imports and the erosion of Britain’s industrial base.

Foreign business have cherry picked all the most profitable parts of our industry by buying them up and then taking production abroad.

All our finest jewels have been stolen. Britain’s economy now mostly consists of low paid jobs in the service sector.

All free trade has ever given to Britain is the worst trade deficit in the developed world.

TERRY HAYWARD, Burnham Road, Swindon

Young are deprived

IT IS a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights that every person is entitled to a family life.

Unfortunately, the actions of successive British governments have prevented today’s young generation from having a family life through the very high cost of houses and rents.

The young generation in Britain have been sold down the river on housing.

STEVE HALDEN, Beaufort Green, Swindon