Dear Reader: Don’t hold breath over new bypass plans

Dear Reader: Graham Chalmers
Dear Reader: Graham Chalmers

The average length of time in the UK between a proposal for a new bypass being raised and a new bypass being built is 123 years.

That’s an exaggeration, of course, but not by as much as you might assume.

Which is why I don’t think anyone should be holding their breath over the chances of a new bypass any time soon in our district, no matter what some councillors may want.

Rather than whether building new roads is a good idea, the more important question is probably how any such decision is made.

We live in an age of ‘transparency’ - or so we’re told. But from recent stories in this newspaper it appears that more and more of the decisions which affect our daily lives are taking place behind closed doors.

Perhaps that’s only to be expected, for public life is now in the stranglehold of two controlling forces. Along with ‘transparency’ has come ‘accountability’.

Even doctors are subject to the constant pressures of the target culture spreading throughout UK plc.

Many of us will remember the days when strikes were the ‘Great British disease’. Perhaps in today’s world it’s league tables?

Psychedelia came to Hebden Bridge on Saturday night - and I was there to greet it.

This old-fashioned-looking market town of cobblestones and steep hills has embraced ‘New Age’ culture and modern pop music in a way Harrogate never has.

Once known for its weaving mills, it’s now renowned for music nights like the one I was at this miniature town’s Trades Club. Psychedelia 2014 looked much the same as I imagine it would have looked in 1967 - paisley shirts, swirling lights and loud rock music. In Hebden Bridge, however, the LSD has been replaced by real ale.