'We deserve better' - Echo readers call for improvements to railway station in Sunderland

Rail passengers in Sunderland are calling for better facilities at the city's train station.

Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th December 2018, 12:13 pm
Sunderland Railway Station in 1995.

The plea came following the announcement that the station welcomed an estimated 447,702 passengers for the 2017-18 year to the end of March.

The Office for Rail and Road statistics cover ticketed journeys made to and from Sunderland via Northern, Grand Central, Metro and the former Virgin Trains East Coast services.

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Last Saturday (December 15) marked the 17th consecutive Saturday on which Northern operated a reduced service - and there are fears that these strikes have led to a reduction in the numbers.

We asked you, the Echo readers, what could be done to attract more passengers to the station.

Many of you called for a range of improvements to the existing building, including repairs to the roof, new toilets and the addition of more cafes and bars in the nearby area.

There has been a fall in the number of passengers using Sunderland station.

Others argued that the building should be "bulldozed" in favour of a new site, where a state-of-the-art station could be built.

Here is what you had to say on the Sunderland Echo Facebook page:

Victoria Godfrey: "Have you seen the clip of the station? No car parking! There is your answer!"

Cheryl Wells: "It's a disgrace for a city."

David Cole: "Build a decent station on the civic centre site, bulldoze that old bomb shelter it’s embarrassing, not even a toilet down there."

John Matters: "Total revamp and proper toilets in."

Paul Gee: "Re-locate the station, at ground level, include cafe’s and bars etc. Oh and make sure its warm.

"Try looking at Leeds station for ideas, my god there's a Wetherspoon in it."

Daniella Hanson: "It’s to do with the fact you can get the Metro to Newcastle or drive to Durham and save £80 on a train ticket to wherever you're going.

"Sort out the prices and routes and people will use it."

Joe Bellerby: "Would be class if we could redevelop The Sheepfolds and move the station back to St Peter's again, stadium already there and build some shops, restaurants and offices, would take years but would be well worth it."

Chris Parry: "Rebuild on Vaux site?"

Helen Dobinson: "Drastically needs a revamp! Every time I go in there it’s leaking and there’s holes in the roof."

Anna Arkle-Allchurch: "How about connecting it to the rest of the railway in the country? To travel to Sunderland from anywhere else by train I have to go to Durham or Newcastle instead and then get a second mode of transport."

Maureen Bradley: "Everything about it is disgusting I would rather take the bus."

Benjamin Taylor: "Clean it thoroughly, put lighting in, install toilets."

Kim-Marie Hajsadr: "Needs a complete [overhaul] and decent parking, trying to park for to pick up or drop off and have seen people parking outside the station going into the two bookies across the road taking up a near impossible parking space for genuine users."

Che Thornton: "I use it all the time and it's not the best but it's way cheaper than going from Durham or Newcastle. Lack of parking doesn't help though.

"People need to just try it and support what services we do have before we lose them instead of whining on about it."