Letters, Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

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Concerts mayhem for residents

WHAT a total calamity Nexus have made of the recent Take That concerts.

Local residents are suffering noise, litter, druken idiots from the concerts, trips on public transport taking three times longer (indeed it took myself three hours to get from Central Station to the Stadium of Light. I live nearby and had no choice but to try and travel. Parking is impossible for the most part. If you drive you have to ensure you’re out for the entire concert or home and don’t go out or else you can’t park.

The idiots supervising boarding on the Metro need more sense. One lady had her 11 and 12-year-old children shoved on a Metro but transport officials then refused to let her on. Depsite her protests to let her on or her children off, the train pulled away, leaving a family seperated.

People were passing out, feeling sick, having panic attacks. Any station after Monument is impossible to board on, as the trains are full to bursting. I am certain they are seriously exceeding safe numbers (a serious health and safety matter, I feel).

The litter dropped is horrendous. Maybe if it were one night us locals wouldn’t mind so much, but to stand at a station over an hour trying to get home after work, while concert goers push and shove, act like loons, drink and all sorts is horrendous.

Then I get home, thread my way through crowds heading to the stadium, buses running seriously late due to traffic, not a spare inch of parking space for miles, accidents at Hylton Retail Park ... this has got to levels beyond stupidity.

Why do the council let events take place like this in a small residential area, causing havoc and mayhem on the roads, public transport, streets, and parking?

Greed, that is why. The stadium bosses and council must be seeing pound signs before their eyes.

Local residents are sick of the total disruption – and when the kids are on half-term too. I can’t take my kids out far as we can’t get home without being crushed or pushed and shoved from pillar to post.

It’s disgusting and I wish more local people would speak up about it, or be asked by council or stadium officials our opinions etc. Alas we are given no consideration at all.

Alison Wilsmlowe, Edward Burdis Street, Southwick

Travel nightmare

YET another own goal from Sunderland – this time Sunderland Highways. After what must have been an amazing concert at the stadium our visitors were sent home through the total shambles created on our roads by the council.

Two lanes closed on the bridge just compounded the exit strategy after the event. I left Sunderland Royal at 11pm and got home to Dock Street, Monkwearmouth, at 1am. To me, all that was needed was a police presence on the four main roundabouts ie bottom of Silksworth Row, Gill Bridge, St Mary’s and the Wheatsheaf. They should have have kept the traffic moving instead of funnelling it into single lanes.

We were all sitting with our windows down talking in the jams and, unfortunately, instead of the brilliance of the show being discussed it was the day being ruined by highway management’s stupidity.

What a way to send our visitors home.

PS. In the 30 minutes I was crossing the bridge (11.50 to 12.20) there were four pedestrians using the two blocked-off lanes.

K. Teer

Credit to our city

SEE, with a professional outlook, Sunderland is up there with the best.

Having attended (being initially dragged along by the females of the household, to be honest) the Take that gig on Friday, May 27, it has to be said that everyone involved with the opening night of the Progress Live tour, from Gary Hutchinson and all at SAFC, the council, emergency services etc, should be very proud of what they did for our city and I’m glad my boy band prejudices did not win the day as it was an incredible spectacle.

This kind of positive publicity is financially incalculable and for the band and their management team to choose Wearside for the first leg of a ground-breaking tour is testimony to all concerned.

The parties involved should be invited by our civic leaders to discuss ways forward to rejuvenate the city centre and the Vaux site because this gig proved one thing – give the public what they want and people will respond. What is needed now are decent hotels, improved retail facilities and exciting, innovative plans for the city centre and seafront area.

The whole show was superb – the excellent Pet Shop Boys, Take That and the associated theatrics and stage set-up, and the outstanding slot by Robbie Williams. I would never have believed that this event would go down alongside the likes of the Angelic Upstarts at The Old 29, The Faces at the Mecca, The Clash and Bowie at the City Hall and The Specials at the 02 Academy as one of my all-time favourite gigs.

Well done again to all concerned. You thrust Sunderland into the national spotlight and did Wearside and the region a great service.

Tom Lynn

Car boot site?

WHILE the Vaux site is standing idle, could the people of Sunderland not have a car boot sale on it? It would only be temporary, of course, but if popular could be made permanent somewhere else.

There was some talk of a supermarket being built on the site at one time. Supermarkets and car boot sales come with a lot of traffic, and a temporary car boot sale would show the highways department which way the land lies regarding traffic congestion in that area.

Edinburgh has a car boot sale in the city centre’s underground car park every Sunday. What’s to stop Sunderland having a boot sale in the Park Lane car park?

The bus station is just across the road and has toilets open around the clock. Plus there are toilets near the open market (that’s when they are not locked).

In Scotland the general public that go to the car boot sales are not charged a penny to get in. Why do the people of County Durham have to pay to get in to our local boot sales?

R. Tomlinson, Seaham

Famous TV voice

LEN Martin used to read the classified football results on BBC television sports programme Grandstand and also he became the voice of Sportsview and British Pathe newsreels with Bob Danvers Walker.

Over the years, many people checked the Pools coupons every Saturday afternoon and sometimes hit the jackpot.

Len also read the rugby league union, cricket scoreboard and horse racing results. On Grandstand he worked with the famous presenters including Peter Dimmock, David Coleman, Frank Bough, Harry Carpenter, Des Lynam, Bob Wilson, Sue Barker and Steve Rider.

Sadly he passed away in August 1995, but I will never forget the famous voice of classified football results, the one and only Len Martin.

Terry Christie, Woodside Terrace, East Herrington

Office blunder

I AGREE with M. Campbell (Letters, May 27) regarding Sunderland.

I can’t believe where the tourist office has been situated, with just a small desk instead of the functional and informative tourist office that was situated in Fawcett Street and was visibly recognisable to visitors.

What benefit is there in this move, especially two floors up?

If a move was necessary, would the closed “craft shop” on the ground floor not have been more appropriate ?

The main entrance to the train station is nowhere near adequate for a city, and as for non existent toilet facilities, that is beyond belief.

The constant deliberations and delays regarding the Vaux site and other plans are a constant gripe.  

Sunderland is getting more and more run down as each year passes. The empty premises and litter do not do anything to help promote Sunderland as a city worth visiting.

Come on, councillors, get your act together and make Sunderland a city to be proud of.

Mrs S. Gibson, Roseville Street, Sunderland

Thanks to voters

I WOULD to thank all the voters of Fulwell Ward for voting, with special thanks for those who voted to elect me as your Conservative councillor in the recent local elections.

I am very pleased to be joining councillors Bob Francis and George Howe as part of the highly motivated local Conservative team in Fulwell.

I will do everything possible to help all of the residents with their problems and to get value for money from the council departments.

It is important that the people of Sunderland maintain a strong Conservative presence on the council to monitor Labour’s use of your money.

Coun John Wiper