A selection of readers’ letters from the Bury Free Press of Friday, August 26.
OVERCROWDING ON DERBY DAY
I went to the derby match on Sunday with five other family members by train.
The last derby two seasons ago we did the same – I couldn’t believe how overcrowded the trains were 18 months ago, so I emailed Abellio at the beginning of last week to say I hoped they would put more than two carriages on this tim , especially on the peak train at 10am.
We arrived at Thurston to catch the 10am along with 100-plus more people. The train was delayed by around six to eight minutes and when it arrived at Thurston we could see why – the train was already full and people standing in the aisles.We squeezed on and travelled to the next stop at Elmswell where well over 100-plus, maybe 200 people, awaited.
All we got was one of the Abellio staff on the platform shouting at us all on the train to keep ‘squeezing’ up. This resulted in two lads (one my stepson) squeezing on to the luggage racks and being squashed.
We were treated like cattle. It’s totally disgusting that the paying public get treated like this in the 21st century. To only put on two carriages again, especially at peak derby time, is rediculous. The 300-plus people at Stowmarket couldn’t even get on
I have tweeted Abellio and would like some answers . . . my stepson is now scared to go on to the train again just in case he gets squashed. I will not use their service again.
-- Kevin Bird, via email
NO BUS SERVICE IN VILLAGE
This is just to correct any idea that being a pensioner living in a remote village is ‘a bowl of cherries’.
I can offer my own experience as an example. I live in Little Bradley, which is six miles from the nearest town – Haverhill. Little Bradley is not only in a ‘hollow’ but has no bus stop because the road doesn’t lead anywhere.
I am 88 years old and it doesn’t take much imagination to realise that my health has deteriorated over time and now I have multiple health issues. There is a bus service run by Star Cabs twice a day between Haverhill and Great Bradley (B1016). I used to use that service, climbing the long, winding hill to catch the bus at the top of the road, but am no longer able to. The Star Cab service does not come into Little Bradley village.
What is needed is a door-to-door service. Such a service does exist, run by an orgnaisation that used to be known as Suffolk Link. I am told by the drivers that a service exists between Newmarket and Haverhill each day, but I’m informed by those who run this service that someone in St Edmundsbury council transport department refuses me the right to use this service, therefore I am isolated and unable to access essential services .
I am questioning whether the transport department exists for the benefit of the public? If St Edmundsbury council was dedicated to the public, there wouldn’t be a problem. Can the council tell me that my request to use this service is a reasonable request?
-- Denis Searle, Little Bradley
TOO FEW TRAVEL ON THE BUSES
Bearing in mind I can remember a time when a car was an expensive luxury which few could afford, I sometimes wonder why no effort seems to be made to persuade car owners to switch to the safer and cheaper option of travelling by bus wherever possible now that large discounts are widely available from local bus companies.
Of course, services have been cut to the bone now that the majority of passengers are the elderly or infirm who can travel for free, which means the service has to be subsidised.
Only a few days ago I was obliged to stand all the way from Bury to Newmarket as there were no seats available. Much later in the day I was the only passenger on a double-decker bus almost all the way back from Thetford to Bury and I asked the driver why no-one seemed interested in the discounts available. He suggested that no-one would like to see countless workers losing their jobs in the car industry if such a change were to take place. I suppose it is simply one of the catch-22 situations which have taken place now that job security is more important than anything else, so we have to accept the terrible death toll which takes place on our crowded roads every day which, nonetheless provides worthwhile employment.
-- Neville Lewis, Bury St Edmunds
I am writing to comment on the dangerous situation caused by cars parked on West Road, in Bury St Edmunds, near the junction of York Road which is likely to result in an accident if no action is taken.
It was disappointing to see that in spite of yellow lines being painted in York Road and just on to West Road. Once again there is parking in West Road with the junction of Westley Road. We complained to Councillor David Nettleton several years ago, but were told parking there was for residents, but the houses there have drives, and it is usually students parked on this section of West Road as it is noticeable that the area is empty when the college is closed.
It is extremely dangerous as there is a disabled parking bay on the right hand side of West Road limiting the access to a single lane. Cars leaving Westley Road and turning left into West Road often are travelling at speed. It is an extremely dangerous junction which could be made much safer if the 20yards on entering West Road had double yellow lines to the corner of York Road. This would allow cars leaving York Road visibility to see cars entering West Road, and allow two cars to pass.
There are parking spaces on the bend as well which is ridiculous.
The situation is not helped by vehicles constantly parked on double yellow lines in York Road, but the parking wardens can do nothing about it. So if you do not want a residents permit, just park on double yellow, that way you will avoid a fine because nobody is interested.
-- John Haydock, York Close, Bury St Edmunds
TOO OLD TO HAVE A VALID OPINION?
I recently had a call from a young man canvassing opinion about a mayor for East Anglia. He had called at an inconvenient time so it was agreed that he would call again the next day, and in the interim I gave the matter some thought. A young lady rang on that occasion who began by asking my age. She then thanked me for my time but explained that I was outside the age range covered by her questionnaire and the call ended.
I wonder how young one has to be to hold an opinion worth consideration?
-- Joy Blake, Southgate Street, Bury St Edmunds
HOSPITAL STAFF WERE MAGNIFICENT
May I be permitted to publish praise on the NHS through the medium of your letters page?
My wife’s mother was admitted to Bury Hospital from her Norfolk nursing home by non-emergency ambulance the day after her 90th birthday. It was believed to be for a quick fix; it was not to be. We had wanted there to be no invasive surgery. Routine tests proved that there could be no fix at all; she died five days later.
The ward, F5, placed her in her own room where they showed her such tenderness and compassion. All of the doctors and nurses treated her with so much respect and gentleness she could want for nothing. We had wanted her to go home; we were wrong. All the family were at her bedside, except at the moment of her passing, where she was attended by her favourite nurse who saw her slip away.
The bereavement office were well up to the calibre of the nursing staff, equally amazing, helpful, gentle and efficient.
Palliative care is often knocked but Bury hospital has proved to be so worthy of its recent high grading, they were magnificent.
We will write to the hospital separately, naming names, but your readers should be aware of the jewel in their crown
-- Bill Hazel, Dorchester
WE’RE LUCKY TO HAVE THIS UNIT
I have just been discharged from the intensive care unit at West Suffolk Hospital. To say I was ill would be an understatement, perhaps I was ready for departure, but my treatment at this wonderful hospital gave me another lease of life. I was looked after as though I was a king or a millionaire. My treatment couldn’t have been better. All the wonderful staff worked cheerfully and well together. This unit is in the middle of Norfilk and Sufolk –do we realise how lucky we are?
-- Keith Banyard, Coltsfoot Way, Thetford
PROUD TO BE PART OF THE HOSPICE TEAM
On behalf of the all the trustees, and our president, Canon Richard Norburn, I would like to use this opportunity to say congratulations and perhaps more importantly an enormous thank you to all the staff and volunteers at St Nicholas Hospice Care who have been recognised as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
We are all privileged to be able to see first-hand the wonderful work the hospice does. Its staff and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure patients, their families and carers receive the best possible care and support.
In their report CQC inspectors praised the friendliness, approachability, empathy, kindness and compassion of staff - highlighting their willingness to go the extra mile for their patients.
The hospice firmly believes everyone deserves outstanding care and we are grateful the CQC recognised during their visit our ambition to deliver care that is tailored to the needs of each individual.
The community is very much part of the work that we do to provide better support for those in the final chapters of their life and would could not deliver such care without your support. So I would also like to give my sincere thanks, on behalf of the board, to the many fundraisers and supporters who work tirelessly raising funds to support the hospice and the thousands of people it helps each year.
St Nicholas Hospice Care may have been rated as outstanding but it is its people that really make it the outstanding organisation it is, and I am immensely proud to be part of the hospice family.
-- Charles Simpson, Chairman, St Nicholas Hospice Care’s Board of Trustees
IMPRESSED BY YOUNG TEAM
I don’t live in Bury St Edmunds but recently found myself heading off to the Czech Republic to watch Bury’s 14-18 year-old tchoukball team represent the UK in the European Championships.
It was a real privilege to watch this mixed group of teenagers playing in a tournament which demanded huge commitment, boundless speed and energy, challenging and exciting skills and endless enthusiasm for their sport. They showed all of these qualities and, perhaps more importantly, they worked delightfully together as a team, supporting, encouraging and applauding each other, especially when the going got tough.
The team didn’t win the championship, but I want to applaud these young people. They were a credit to themselves, to the National Tchoukball Association, to the local coaches who train and support them throughout the year and to their home town. Bury St Edmunds is fortunate to host such an exciting and inclusive non-contact sport, which also has teams for adults and younger children in addition to their under-18 team who so hugely impressed me in the Czech Republic.
-- Pauline Elliott, Lowestoft