Saturday, January 28th, 2012

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Have your say

Discrepancy in city bus services

IN May I handed my councillor a petition from 617 people to have the X2 to Newcastle reinstated. After various delays, I was notified in late December about the decision. It’s a definite “no” from both Go North East and Nexus.

Go North East told Nexus that the X2 was replaced with the 8 to The Galleries and the X1 from The Galleries to Newcastle. They claimed that there was not a significant demand for travel from Sunderland to Newcastle, i.e. that very few passengers travelled the whole route to Gateshead or Newcastle from Sunderland and that it was a commercial decision to axe it.

However, it seems strange to me that the X3 running from the interchange to Newcastle, going through the north of Sunderland, was introduced in July 2011. Yet the Sunderland people on this route get off at Asda, Boldon, and Boldon Business Park – not at Gateshead or Newcastle.

Also, Peter Huntley, manager of Go North East, stated in his communication to Councillor Peter Wood on 7.9.10: “No lack of patronage, just a logical break”. So what is really going on?

I’ve seen the X1 from Easington virtually offload nearly all of the passengers when it arrives at The Galleries. Do our faces not fit? All they have to do is cut some of the routes from 10 minutes to 15 minutes or 20 and give us an X2 only once an hour – half a loaf is better than none!

As one of my neighbours says: “There seems to be a discrepancy in bus services between the north and south of Sunderland”.

D. Sloanes, Sunderland

Ex-service station

WITH further reference to the derelict site of the Southmoor Service Station, I wish to express my gratitude to the Echo and, especially, Jane O’Neill’s report of the circumstances associated with the current state of the site, after more than eight years.

I thank also Councillor Margaret Forbes for her comment against the planning application. I thank our council’s Development Control Sub-Committee for their ruling to refuse the application and pray that the Independent Planning Inspectorate will endorse our council’s judgement.

May I contradict Councillor Tony Morrisey’s statement suggesting residents wanting virtually anything other then the current situation is totally untrue and I further invite him to meet me to discuss the issues.

In the meantime, while we the residents await indefinitely for an acceptable development, it would be a step in the right direction if the owner of the site and council planners could agree to demolish the existing garage building and perimeter walls in Westholme Terrace, thus removing the attraction for antisocial behaviour and eliminating the main elements of an eyesore.

Mac Burke, Ryhope Road, Sunderland

Community centre

IN reply to M. J. Eynon’s letter on January 14, I would just like to say in response to your reply to Mr Angus (Letters, January 4) that Newbottle CA management were not asking for any preferential treatment, as was implied, and did not choose to go it alone after refusing help from the local authority, again as you suggest. I would like to add that there is a lot of background to this situation that you may not be aware of when you replied on January 4.

The centre was closed, being declared dangerous after an electrical inspection by an independent company.

Dangerous it was not, in both my view and that of members, and it did not cause any danger to users, either children or adults, which you were concerned about.

The building was completely rewired with all new fittings in 2004 by the local authority (their choice, not ours), but has been a subject of some small problems every since. Why should the local authority not rectify their mistakes?

If M. J. Eynon would care to reveal their true identity to me directly, I may be able to inform him or her of the wider background.

Incidentally, the CA was not being treated as a private club to be paid for by council taxpayers, again as was implied, but was always was open to all members of the public to use.

Derek Hampton, Houghton Road, Newbottle

Unfit youth

IN the old days I would swing across trees pretending I was Tarzan, then I would build a rope bridge across a river, like they did in the westerns. Sometimes I would don a mask pretending I was Zorro, and Japs and English was a great game as we acted out the stories we heard about the war in the jungles of Burma.

There were a few of us in those days – Peter Holliday, Graham Macbeth, Paul Gordon, Wilfie Meldrum and Colin Carr. We had no iPods, and shoes and socks were a luxury, but we were out in all weathers and we all had athletic bodies.

This exercise and fresh air made men of us, but how things have changed. Many of today’s youngsters are either unfit or overweight from playing on the Xbox or sitting over the laptop. They don’t even play conkers these days.

The fact is that many children can’t be bothered with exercise, hence the weight problems the youth of today. This is a national problem, of course, but in the years to come if something is not done soon the stereotypical male will be 20 stone and living on a diet of chips and burgers.

In my day no one was fat. We all enjoyed outdoor pursuits and never ate chips.

Even now I can be seen jogging from Seaburn to Shields with a haversack of rocks on my back three days a week. How many of today’s namby-pamby boys and girls could say that ?

Mick “The Pen” Brown