Letters, Thursday, June 30th, 2011

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I AM writing to address the recent concerns of Ms Sheila Webster in the Sunderland Echo (“Post-gig misery”, Letters, June 22) about the Tyne and Wear Metro service after the Kings of Leon concert at the Stadium of Light on Friday, June 17.

We are very sorry to hear about the difficulty you experienced in getting home from the concert. In order to deal with the influx of passengers to the Metro network, Metro had to put in place various travel organisation methods to safely control the increased number of people using the system.

With events such as this concert, safety is Metro’s first and foremost priority. The organisational plans are centered around the safety of passengers and when such concerts take place it will take longer to travel as Metro staff try to get people to and from the event as efficiently and safely as possible.

As you experienced, it did take longer than usual on the South Hylton service. This service was running to the normal scheduled timetable. However, because of the concert, Metro had to implement a cap on the number of passengers boarding trains at both the Stadium of Light and St Peters. This cap was set at 100 passengers as Metro felt this was the best way to ensure passengers were able to travel to and from the concert safely.

Feedback from previous events such as the recent Take That concerts has led us to believe that running the normal service from St Peters and the Stadium of Light to South Hylton but with limited passenger numbers was the best arrangement to put in place which is why we chose to operate in this way. We genuinely appreciate your feedback and moving forwards will take this into consideration when planning the logistics on future large-scale events.

Richard McClean, Managing Director, Metro Operator DB Regio

Olympic tickets

LET’S put an end to this public sham about the 2012 Olympics.

The working man has to understand that this never was anything other than a great televised event for us. To believe in the hype that we could actually be at this public-purse-paid-for spectacle in any great numbers is a farce.

The whole Games is built round a showpiece at which the rich, famous, politically or organisationally connected can come together, puff up each others’ egos and be entertained.

Yes, there will be the “general public” at some events, but only after the well healed and well connected have syphoned off the best tickets for the blue-ribboned events.

Then and only then, will Joe Public be allowed to fill the cattle-class seats and events.

2012 Olympic Games? 2012 Olympic troughfest more like.

John Murch, Clarence Street, Seaham

EU referendum

ABOUT 80 per cent of the population want a referendum on being in or out of the EU. But does the Government care about what the electorate want? No.

Does the Government care about keeping the MEPs in luxury, freebies, ridiculous expenses, world travel, 15 years of unaudited accounts, etc, etc? Do you need an answer? I’ve said this for years.

In contrast to the unions who are prepared to go on strike and are determined, it seems that 80 per cent of the public just lie back and possibly think of England, but do nothing about getting out of the EU.

Britain must find £20billion it does not have to bail out the euro. Even Steve Hilton, Cameron’s closest adviser says Britain must quit the EU, because of the UKs massive loss of sovereignty to Brussels. When are the 80 per cent of the public going to demand a referendum on being in or out of the EU?

Marjorie Matthews, Aiskell Street, Sunderland

Airgun incident

YOUR article reporting dog walkers being shot at in Middle Herrington Park (Echo, June 20) was described as totally wrong at a Middle Herrington Neighbourhood Watch meeting held on June 23.

Police informed the meeting that a 19-year-old had been arrested for discharging an air weapon within 50 feet of a highway.

It is understood that a lady did feel threatened, but the police reported that the targets were tin cans and, regrettably, some birds.

We have had several incidents of air weapons being used in parks and this must be stopped, but reporting such as this only leads to unfounded worries among residents and could bring out copycats.

After the meeting I was approached by some residents who felt that this inaccurate report gave the impression that Middle Herrington was “some kind of wild west town” and did damage to the area.

Coun Alan Wright, Conservative, St Chad’s Ward