Reader letters of the week: Removing white lines on Norfolk’s roads, Donald Trump and hospital concerns

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a primary ni

Republican presidential candidate, businessman Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a primary night rally. (AP Photo/David Goldman) - Credit: AP

Here are some of the best reader letters we have seen so far this week, you can join the discussion by commenting below.

• Removing white lines will make us think and also keep us safer

Monday February 15

Tracy Jessop,

Assistant Director Highways and Transport, Norfolk County Council, County Hall, Norwich.

It's been encouraging to see so much debate in the EDP on the subject of white lines on roads. We've been removing centre white lines for at least 15 years in locations across Norfolk that have the right characteristics and where there is community support. To that extent, Norfolk is leading much of the rest of the country, but we know the removal of a centre white line wouldn't be suitable on main roads with high traffic flows. Experience tells us it can, however, work well on certain quieter roads which already enjoy lower traffic speeds. In addition, I should make it clear there is no intention to remove all white lines in Norfolk, as some of the national media might have led people to believe, nor is it a cost cutting exercise. If we are to continue to reduce the number of serious accidents and deaths further, we need to help road users think more about what they do. So while there has been a welcome reduction in road casualties across the UK – and here in Norfolk we recorded the lowest ever number of deaths on our roads last year – rural roads are where most accidents continue to happen. These are less forgiving; narrower, often tree lined or with high verges and ditches and were originally designed for a horse and cart. We're currently talking to the Department for Transport about plans for an area of North Norfolk which could see speed limit reductions and some white lines removed, but this will only happen with a firm agreement on funding and appropriate consultation. Fewer road markings can improve street safety for everyone by making drivers more cautious, raising awareness and lowering speeds, but this is always going to be just one of the tools at our disposal to support our aims.

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• We had our concerns

Tuesday February 16

B A Ross FRCS,

The Crescent, Chapel Field Road, Norwich.

Re 'Our hospital is too small' (EDP, February 11). Congratulations! At last it is recognised that our magnificent PFI hospital is too small. Some of us have been saying this since the 10-storey ward block in St Stephens was opened by David Ennals MP in 1976. The 400-bed shortfall at that time was to be rectified by an 800-bed, second district hospital to complement the N&N. Split site working in acute medicine or surgery was never successful and we obtained acceptance of a plan for a 1,600-bed hospital to be built in Colney, enabling the closure of the N&N unit. Whitehall was aghast, suggesting that all Norwich needed was 500 beds in total. Wisdom and computer modelling increased this to the 701 beds which were opened at Colney, 20 years ago. This number has increased over time to the 1,000 or so beds, including day beds, we have at present, but it is still woefully inadequate for the population of Norfolk in 2016. It was a great loss when Wayland, Dereham, Kelling and North Walsham hospitals ceased to care for the post acute patients from the N&N. We could do with them now, but there is no money – particularly for nurses. When the new N&N was about to open, the managers of the day admitted that 20,000 finished consultant episodes (FCEs/patients) would not be treated in any one year in this new hospital and nobody could say where that volume of patients would be treated. Despite increased throughput, this shortfall has never been corrected and the population gets larger, older, frailer and unfortunately more demented. What a disaster for Norfolk.

• Money plays its part in Trump's rise

Wednesday February 17,

C N Westerman,

Meadow Rise, Brynna, Mid Glamorgan.

While most of us have come to value the institution of democracy as superior to any other form of government, it would be foolish to ignore the possibility that a person like Donald Trump could become the most powerful human on Earth. We must use this opportunity to analyse where western nations are going wrong in distorting what our parents have entrusted to us. The media fails completely to identify the secret of Trump's success in winning loyalty in thousands of minds who scream and yell, without any intelligent remark among them. It must be only an emotional appeal, deliberately rejecting serious thought. Obviously, the worship of money plays a big part, to pay for poisonous adverts against everyone else, hatred of foreigners and a complete lack of any compassion. But those have always been features of right wing thought all over the world, and the US Republican Party has always had those values. Trump represents some emotional attitude far beyond that, a virulent, angry hostility, which I suspect of sharing the values of the British 'red top' Press and TV, where commentators are paid large salaries to inflame the violent passions of sections of the population. The consequence is millions of angry citizens, there and here, who have no understanding of their own constant anger, in the same way as the same media created spiteful football hooligans out of the cheerful supporters whom I knew, 40 years ago. I suggest that the two are incompatible, democracy and a media which intends to stoke mindless aggression.

• Jailhouse Jagger

Thursday February 18

David M Armstrong,

Silver Street, Norwich.

The recent sad passing of rock star and cultural icon David Bowie was a reminder of meeting a famous former hell-raiser and rock and roll legend. It was the summer of 1967, I was in Brixton prison for medical reports. It was overcrowded, many inmates were winos, junkies and vagrants. Every morning I would visit the person in the next cell for a chat. One day I went to visit a new arrival; sitting on the bed looking a little down in the mouth was Mick Jagger, lead singer with the Rolling Stones. He was given three months for a drugs offence. We chatted for about an hour and I tried reassuring him first timers were treated less harshly and he would be allocated a privileged job. We were both in our 20s and spent the rest of the conversation talking about the music scene which was fantastic in the 60s. The following day he was given bail pending an appeal. It was certainly a memorable experience.

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