Letters, Monday, October 8, 2012

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Traffic problems are stifling the city

ONE easy way to regenerate the Sunderland city centre would be to open up the city to car traffic. At present, I am reluctant to bother travelling in from the north side due to the diversion around Roker Avenue and the apparent desire to push me down into Hendon or out towards Hylton Road.

 By the time I have negotiated multiple traffic lights my first wish is to get out as quickly as possible, if I even bother at all. Much easier to go to an out-of-town centre for any significant purchase. Just try and get to the railway station from the north, or even the south, side of the city – a nightmare, so don’t bother and travel from Newcastle or Durham. Talking to others, this is a recurring impression.

 Do we really need so many traffic lights and crossings that stop and start traffic? In its desire to drive cars out of the city our council has also driven out much of its spending power, leaving the city stores to stock a reduced range of clothes,equipment etc that offers little choice compared to the MetroCentre and elsewhere. Of course this produces another trend – to avoid the city centre because of the limited choice which causes a downward spiral and many have just got out of the habit of visiting Sunderland. There are many fine people trying to run a business (and employ people) inside Sunderland who must despair at their sense of being obstructed by council efforts.

 The cost of parking doesn’t bother me, but access does. I have long been convinced that opening up North Bridge Street to two-way traffic and permitting car access through Fawcett Street (a fine street falling into decay) and Holmeside (never been there in years) could vastly improve businesses footfall and boost the city image immensely. If Holmeside gets pedestrianised any business there may as well close down. This would necessitate a change of approach from our council to prefer car transport a bit more and bus transport a bit less, but the decline in our city has to be stopped before it passes the point of no return.

 Anyone would think our road system has been designed by a man who never drove a car in his life. Removing some of the heavy traffic from the city centre and offering some roadside hourly parking facilities might just encourage some of us to have another look and get back into the habit of using Sunderland instead of the out of town centres.

Kevin Leary,

Cleadon Lea,

Cleadon Village

City’s heritage

BEING interested in heritage, I notice that Mr Tomlinson from Seaham has made some strong views known about the saga of the City of Adelaide and other heritage information. My views go a little beyond our city in shipping circles and wonder what happened to HMS Cavalier South Tyneside, HMS Warrior Hartlepool (Portsmouth), HMS Arrow our own adopted vessel. Even the two major aircraft carriers from a city of ships – all gone.

 In place, of course, plenty of supermarkets to make up for them, but even Pam Tate of Southwick Heritage Society has admitted the biggest chain Tesco do not do justice to building quality. Look around the North East and see the sheds that go up – eyesores on the whole.

Bill Craddock,

Donvale Road,

Washington

Thanks, councillor

MANY thanks to my councillor, Bob Price, who has gained permission for me to take some recycling to Beach Street. I have previously been turned away because I am a pedestrian and do not arrive by car.

 Thanks, Coun Price, for investigating the drainage problems in Hind Street and on Hylton Road near Millfield Medical Centre.

 I was present at the Bangladeshi Centre on September 25 when Coun Price, on behalf of the local residents, asked the anti-fascists not to demonstrate in St Mark’s Road October 6.

John Watson,

Granville Street,

Sunderland

Couple’s plight

I READ with great sympathy the plight of Mr and Mrs Shipley (Echo, September 15). The tragedy this family has suffered is unimaginable and I can understand completely their reasons for wanting to move.

 I share their puzzlement at arrears proving to be an obstruction after 23 years. Surely Gentoo have procedures in place that monitor this?

 Hopefully, the situation will be resolved quickly for Mr and Mrs Shipley and I wish them the very best of luck.

M. Caney,

Cleveland Road,

Sunderland

Harassed shopper

WHY is it every time you go any near The Bridges you get assaulted by everyone trying to sell you everything from pebbles to satellite TV? When you want anything decent you tend to go by train elsewhere. It’s all right if you want a mobile phone, but forget anything else.

John Smith