Letters, Monday, December 3, 2012

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Have your say

There’s a lack of bus stops in this city

“A £1M bid to boost shopping”, announces the Echo, November 21.

 I am referring to the conversion of Borough Road from one way to two way, mainly for the benefit of buses.

 Over the years Sunderland Council has spent millions of pounds changing Sunderland’s roads from general use to bus only. The Central Bus Station was closed allowing the extension of The Bridges, private traffic was re-routed around the city centre to allow the centre to become one big bus station, clogged with hundreds of buses. The money the council spends comes from taxpayers – in other words us.

 What concerns me is access to the shopping area on bus routes. Why are there almost no bus stops in the city centre?

 Incoming buses from Durham Road stop at Park Lane or Vine Place, next in the City Library, Fawcett Street, each bus one stop then the next stop is at the junction of Roker Avenue and North Bridge Street. It is similar on the return, stops at High Street, John Street, Park Lane, then out of the city.

 The two bus companies are hardly in competition with each other and have a vested interest not having bus stops. Why?

 If you have more bus stops you need more buses and more buses cost money so the city’s ration is two stops.

 For wheelchair and disabled persons much of the city must be no go areas if you rely on the bus. This same performance is repeated in Houghton shopping centre, a stop at the church, next to the post office and that’s it.

 I have a problem accessing the City Library, getting off at the door I’m then expected to walk to Park Lane for a return service. Not a chance, I reboard the same bus and change at the Wheatsheaf and use the return service through the city.

 Having taken part in the consultation on these proposals, I discover that the council, having spent mega millions of taxpayers cash, has no say on bus stops. I think there should be a bus stop in front of the old library and museum in Borough Road for returning Fawcett Street services.

 The council is supposed to represent the public and with reference to bus stops they are powerless. If the buses want a shorter route let the bus operators pay for the road conversion, if it’s good enough for Tesco at the Wheatsheaf it’s good enough for Go North East and Stagecoach.

G White,

Sunderland

I know Bob Dylan

BEFORE T Thompson alleged other people were waffling (November 21) he should have acquainted himself with the meaning of the word.

 He wrote at length without saying anything important. That is the definition of waffle.

 T Thompson was well out of tune when he concluded I’d never heard of Bob Dylan. In fact I like all sorts of music, from Little Richard, Bob Geldof, George Gershwin and the Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo.

 Bob Dylan, a singer and songwriter, had a special kind of talent. They reckon he influenced the Beatles, David Bowie and others. In his early singing career, Dylan was influenced by folk singer Woody Guthrie. In his second album The Freewheelin Bob Dylan included Blowin in the Wind, Don’t think Twice, It’s All Right and A Hard Rains A-Gonna Fall.

 Later his music found a smaller audience because it reflected his interests as a born-again Christian.

W Quinn,

Millfield

Better in the EU

WITH regard to the letter by Wesley Crossland, his views and knowledge of the European Union are questionable.

 His view that the European Court of Human Rights is somehow playing on Cameron’s mind and that a pull out would sort out the Abu Qatada question is wrong. A pull-out from the EU would not necessarily mean Britain withdraws from the ECHR.

 The ECHR is not mentioned in any EU legislative draft or law, it is not the court of the EU and therefore cannot have any true binding on the UK or any other member, although granted all members do obey the judgements.

 As for the advice for Mr Howe joining UKIP, UKIP’s party politics, beyond the single issue of EU membership, is certainly in the realm of fantasy. Although we would save money from leaving the EU, the money we would spend entering the Single Market and using the benefits it would bring would still cost us 65 per cent of the cost of membership, as Norway is the 10th biggest net contributor to the EU, and with no say in legislative or economic policy it would leave us in a dangerous place. An increase of one per cent of GDP to Army spending and a decrease in climate change research and other spending is farfetched.

 The UK is in a much more solid place in world politics thanks to the EU, and in the North East we have received European Regional Funds to help fund things that we use: The Metro and Gateshead College.

 I hope that the blind mass isn’t led to vote UKIP due to the hot-air its members are spouting out.

 Remember only 14 per cent of primary UK policy goes through EU law.

 Think also about the cheap flights and cheap mobile phone texts which are thanks to the EU.

D Edmonds,

Sunderland