Ute is wasted on the….
I travel out to Hallam from Wheelers Hill once a week via the freeway. I always see lots of double-cab utes but always with just a driver. I don’t think I EVER saw one that had people in the back. Strange devices, lots of space for people who never use it and very limited space for goods, tools etc. I drive a Peugeot 206 and I’m always alone in it but I don’t want to carry tools or goods. I presume they are a fad, like yoyos when I was a boy.
George J King, Wheelers Hill
Letters reveal nature of war
Your recent Special Feature article (“A war of words,” RA, April) dealing with the horrors of World War I through soldiers’ letters from the front reveals to us the ghastly nature of the war.
One senses the never-ending madness of it all. There were, however, strong moves to quell this madness. The German and British soldiers experienced a well-known Christmas truce in 1914 which was repeated more than once. This is revealed by studies of soldiers’ correspondence by Professor M. Weber of Aberdeen University.
Even following the bloody massacre in the Somme in 1916, messages of friendship and gifts were exchanged.
Germany offered a peace proposal in late 1915, but it was ignored by the Allies. Instead the United States entered the war and the world was never the same.
Victor Radywonik, Ascot Vale
Use the bike lane
All recommended changes to Sydney Road seem to ignore or be unaware of the fact that there is a dedicated bicycle lane running parallel and approximately one block to the west. Cyclists could be directed to use that for their own safety and to reduce congestion, don’t you think?
Mark Lewis, Brunswick
Fix the Calder
In applauding the President’s message (RA, April) to diversify infrastructure spending in Victoria, we noticed one missing element. For more than 10 years the Calder ‘Freeway’ in Brimbank has lacked several elements to bring it to full freeway standard.
The intersection at Calder Park Drive needs an overpass, speed restrictions in this section have caused indignation in most users with an added safety risk. Traffic is intensifying with urban development in the area and beyond, and as one of only eight major highways in the state it has been neglected in this area for too long.
For a modest investment, the Calder could be a shining example of a modern, efficient and safe route, serving the whole north-west region. Will someone notice and do something?
Ian Sutherland, Sunbury
President, Calder Action Group
Blow the trumpet
The article ‘Rising to the Challenge’ (RA, May) is a fine example of journalism to show locals that there still is a place for Victoria in this world, even though our large mass production industry is diminishing.
It’s not all doom and gloom, but a great opportunity for Victoria to grab the baton and run. Congratulations to the companies mentioned for finding that place in the world we need to be. Let there be more of it.
We don’t blow our trumpets enough like other countries do – we might be the ‘quiet achievers’ but who knows about the achievements? We are good at sports and let the world know, why not put it out there for innovation?
Bob Stevens, Cheltenham
Cats eyes needed
While painting the lines different colours as suggested by Don Bain (Your Say, April) has merit and VicRoads won’t go away from plain white lines, a similar solution could be different-coloured cats eye reflectors separating the lanes to achieve the effect that Don suggests.
Ian Bloomfield, Traralgon
Paint the poles
If VicRoads is insistent that road marking colours will not be altered to indicate the speed limit, may I suggest, as I did 10 or so years ago in a letter to The Age newspaper, that every second or third telegraph pole have a broad strip of colour at eye height to indicate the speed limit. This would allow a motorist to see at a glance what is required.
Brian Hewat, East Melbourne
Tram to airport
Melburnians continue to be disappointed by the lack of a public transport rail link from the airport to the city despite talk by various governments over decades.
What about extending the tram line from Airport West to the airport, which would benefit thousands of travellers and the community along its route?
What could be more iconic than taking a tram from the airport? The journey needs to be convenient and cheap for families and tourists, not necessarily fast.
Elizabeth Hoskin, South Melbourne
The trend towards space-saver tyres should be condemned. They are not good enough.
Scenario 1: A puncture in north-east Victoria late on a Sunday afternoon. The space-saver is fitted and the journey home to the city (or vice versa) is via the Hume. Crawling along in the dark at 80km/h in the left-hand lane the following traffic, including B-double trucks, is gaining by 30 kmh, or 40 per cent faster. Relentlessly. For hours.
Scenario 2: The larger punctured wheel cannot be secured in the under-floor compartment from which the space-saver came and, if the vehicle in question is a wagon or hatch this wheel is loose in the cargo area. In the event of a collision it could seriously injure or kill those in the car. More likely the latter.
Put an end to space-saver tyres.
Andrew Percy, Newport
Rego on the go
It’s thanks to Cheryl Scully (Your Say, May) that I was made aware that your registration status could be checked on the VicRoads website. I did so and while I was online I took the option of registering my details so as to obtain my renewal notifications via email instead of by post.
John Kelly, Kilsyth South
A good drive
I read with interest the story in the March RA about Germany’s autobahns (‘Life in the fast lane’), in particular the reference to the Kraftwerk song Autobahn. I also thought it was “fun, fun, fun”. I’ve liked that song for many years, and now that I know that it is a German word for drive, I think that is good, good, good!
Russell Mackay, Melton