Letters, Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

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Traffic-calming measures in Seaham

I HAVE been requested by the members of Seaham Town Council to write on behalf of the council in response to the various letters which have been printed in recent weeks with regard to the above issue.

The first thing to clarify to residents and visitors is that Durham County Council is the Highways Authority responsible for the roads in Seaham, not Seaham Town Council. Over a number of years Seaham Town Council campaigned on behalf of residents for the removal of the pinch points along the seafront which the public had made quite clear they did not want.

The town council lobbied Durham County Council on this issue and, as a result, a review was completed which led to the removal of the pinch points and the installation of the new alternative speed-calming measures which were intended to improve the flow of traffic. This was seen as a step forward and the town council contributed 10 per cent of the cost.

The town council took no part in any decisions with regard to the number or spacing of the speed cushions or their dimensions. These specific details were decided by Durham County Council Highways Department and, according to them, are compliant with current technical guidelines and legislation.

In response to the strong public feeling on this issue town councillors and local county councillors recently met highways officers to highlight public concerns and to discuss potential solutions. As a result of this, the Highways Department has indicated that it is intending to perform a review of the issue.

I hope this clarifies the situation for your readers and highlights the fact that the town council works for the wellbeing of the people of Seaham and constantly strives to bring improvements to the town.

Mark Welsh, Town Clerk to Seaham Town Council

Sick of humps

LIKE E. Stobbart (Letters, May 20) I have never written to a newspaper before, but would also like to agree with C. Coulthard regarding the disgraceful speed hump monstrosities on our seafront. They are totally unacceptable.

Speed humps have been placed on other promenades – I have Seaburn, Scarborough, Redcar and Blackpool in mind and I could go on and on – but invariably they are used sparingly and are right across the road where traffic is gently slowed down.

I appreciate that Seaham is the only seaside frontage town in County Durham, but surely those in charge could have done their homework.

With a new shopping mall and multimillion-pound council complex, plus exciting ongoing development for harbour and marina development and the prospect of a weekly outdoor market, things seemed to be looking up. People in Seaham were starting to have their pride restored following the devastation of our mining industry. However, the vandalism to the coastal route into town has done a great disservice to any hopes of putting Seaham on the tourist map.

Come the elections, the only ones to get my vote will be on the promise of righting this wrong.

Failing that, I nominate C. Coulthard as the voice of reason and down-to-earth common sense.

K. Rock, Colling Avenue, Deneside

Defend opinions

WHEN, in good faith, I submit an argument disagreeing with someone, I expect my opponent to at least show me respect, and, possibly, make some attempt at a rejoinder.

Henry Whipple (Letters, May 25) evades this responsibility by affecting to be flippant, and by pretending that his original letter was a wind-up. He set a trap and I fell into it, he would have us believe.

Mr Whipple is being disingenuous. I have re-read his first letter, and it is blindingly obvious that he was being serious about his Marxism.

If Mr Whipple is not prepared to defend his views, then he should not have made them known in the first place.

P. J. McPartland, Ivy Avenue, Seaham

Candidate’s thanks

ALMOST one in 10 people in Doxford Ward who expressed a preference voted Green … and as the Doxford Green candidate I thank every one of them.

There may be a number of reasons why they chose to vote Green. It may be dissatisfaction with the other main parties. It could be they are not happy with the current state of affairs in Sunderland.

Or, it could be that a growing number of people like what the Green Party is saying and see us as a viable alternative.

Thank you.

Caroline Robinson

Signs ‘plantation’

IF anyone has never seen an actual “plantation of signs” just go to the Toll Bar on the way to Sunderland. It beggars belief.

It’s a good job we have a sense of humour.

W. Og, Hawkins Road, Murton

Site changes

THE Echo Down Your Way article on May 24 (Herringtons, Farringdon and Lakeside Village) from the Tories, regarding the Tesco/Esso petrol station on Silksworth Lane and Tesco’s decision to introduce a new one-way system through the filling station, must have been prompted by the St Chad’s Ward Labour Party March leaflet.

The leaflet, complete with picture, clearly mentioned the confusion and congestion which continues on the site and the Board Inn roundabout.

We could have told you so.

One of the changes proposed to Tesco’s original application was a one-way traffic system which they refused to accept. It was proposed by the then St Chad’s councillor Leslie Scott along with local resident Neil Angus. Tory councillor Robert Oliver was silent on the issue. What will Tesco want for this concession?

Tesco have decided to proceed with the one-way system without any consultation with residents, users or Sunderland City Highways engineers. Tesco have no proposals for vehicles parked on the approach/access highway, or customers who fill up and then go shopping or individuals who only want to use the cash dispenser.

Tesco do not own the petrol pumps. Their priority is for customers to use the store. Unfortunately, our experience with Tesco is they always tend do it “the Tesco way”.

We can only wait and see the outcome.

Coun Stuart Porthouse, St Chad’s Ward

Concert cash

THE revenue that pop concerts bring to Sunderland will now improve the litter-strewn streets, boarded-up shops, uneven pavements etc. Councillors will boast how wonderful Sunderland is, with rose-coloured spectacles.

One wonders what their own environment is like. Have Sunderland councillors any pride?

Mrs J. Munro, St Nicholas Avenue, Sunderland

Match memories

I WAS interested in W. Crane’s letter about the Sunderland-Man Utd match in 1964.

I can confirm there was a matinee of The Merchant of Venice at the Empire that day. I was also there with a school party because it was our O-level set play.

W. Crane says a number of boys sneaked out during the interval to go to Roker Park – it was more like a mass exodus.

It’s a pity he missed seeing the match. He should have gone round to the Roker End where the big gate was broken down and you could walk in for free, like I did.

Read Len Ashurst’s book and you’ll see he believes Sunderland should have won the cup that year. So do I.

W. Crane also mentions the sports presenter Peter Dimmock. He actually appeared on BBC2 last week, on the tribute programme to Sir Henry Cooper.

Eventually I did see the end of The Merchant of Venice. In the 1970s ITV put on a production with Laurence Olivier as Shylock. Later came the film with Al Pacino.

It’s amazing to think – a Shakespeare play on ITV on a Sunday night. You wouldn’t get that now.

Roland Green,

Avebury Drive,

Washington

Pupils’ show

I WISH to congratulate the pupils of Monkwearmouth School for their excellent concert in aid of the charity Help the Heroes.

This lively musical entertainment, promoted and produced by a group of pupils in Year Eight, was supported by a wide-ranging group of people, all of whom deserve our thanks and praise.

The sum raised was over £1,000, all of which will go to supporting the men and women of our armed forces in the field, as well as their families.

Bob Francis, Conservative councillor, Fulwell Ward