Letters, Friday, July 18, 2014

Have your say

Do something about port route

I WOULD like to comment upon the growth of our port, as outlined in recent Echo stories and the 2010 Sunderland Economic Masterplan.

 As a regular visitor to the East End, I am constantly aware of the very tortuous route some of the massive and extremely long articulated vehicles have to negotiate to travel south from our docks.

 Upon leaving the Barrack Street exit, they make a left hand turn, then a right hand turn, to proceed along Prospect Row, where they have another left hand turn, often made difficult by parked cars in the Quadrant. Then, another nasty left hand to leave the Quadrant, followed by a close right hand turn into Lawrence Street, before reaching the north end of Hendon Road with another tight left and turn, impeded by bollards, an island and pedestrian crossing, before accessing the south side radial route.

 Not the easiest exits compared to other dock facilities near to us, and one which I think should be addressed, if as stated, the port is to be developed further, as road usage will hopefully increase.

 I am left wondering why the old international entrance at the south end of Fergusson Street wasn’t utilised when the south radial route was created, to give a direct link from the docks up past the businesses in that area, to provide a short link road which would carry the vehicles away in the easiest manner, with less stress on both the road and the people living on or near them.  

 This, I think, would be a factor for the consideration by present and future clients, with the emphasis upon the future.

 I have witnessed several vehicles coming along the east radial route, not turning into Lawrence Street but driving on until they reach the High Street East roundabout, then turning east down High Street bank, to enter the docks as if coming from the north. This, to me, proves the route isn’t either easy or popular with the drivers, and possibly the firms using the dock facility.

 The build-up of traffic is obvious, which is a great sign for the future of our docks and port, but this problem won’t go away if, as forecast, we are in an expanding situation as everyone in authority seems to think.  To me it seems a case of out of sight, out of mind, but do as I have done and have a look at other similar facilities, where road access has been made a prime priority, and you will agree that it should be a case of when, not if.

Jack Curtis,


Civic Centre works are a nightmare

THE work that is being done for the new Civic Centre in Sunderland is a nightmare for drivers.

 It’s a 20mph limit, but you can’t drive at that speed because you are in queues in excess of 20 minutes’ waiting time.

 And if that is not enough, there have been mistakes made that are having to be rectified.

 Who is paying for these faults and how much is it all going to cost?

 Will all of the hassle for the motorist be worth it in the end? Can anyone answer this?

 Let us hope that the new Civic Centre will be more viable for all reasons concerned.

B Crute,


Mick The Pen must be off his rocker

MICK The Pen’s recent letter about bringing rock bands to Barnes Park was simply ridiculous and merely another attempt to upset the locals.

 Rock bands should be performing in a venue like the Empire, not a built-up residential area. Just imagine the type of clientele that it would bring, and the mess they would leave behind would be unthinkable.

 I really think that Mick The Pen should think long and hard before he puts pen to paper. All it does is get people’s backs up.

J King,


Take some time to remember history

IT IS so heartening to hear that Seaham Town Council, supported by County Council members, are supporting Tommy, the fabulous statue presently on the Terrace Green and his permanence in its present position.

 It is a pity though that the statue of Charles Stewart (in my opinion the original Tommy, whose history is worth looking at) did not get the same support some years ago.

 At that time it was considered that the statue of Charles Stewart, the Founder of Seaham Harbour, was too expensive to upkeep, and was therefore sold for a pittance to a local businessman – good move for the entrepreneur.

 I’m sure many locals can remember other parts of Seaham’s history that have been forgotten or have disappeared.

 Can you remember any of Seaham’s past that our former local council decided to bulldoze, demolish or convert?

 Perhaps Ruben’s Arcade with its marble pillars and concave glass windows and tiled floor, and some may even remember the fun we had as kids walking through and shouting to hear our echoed voices?

 There are so many other treasures that come to mind. I can’t be alone, surely, in remembering skipping around the foundation stone of Seaham? Where is it? The wrought iron gates of St John’s Church and its high walls, the tiled front shops and so much more.

 Past lost heritage memories would make a very interesting list to compile.

 I would love to read your memories of Seaham. Seaham has a very prosperous future, but hopefully present residents will take the remaining history of Seaham with them to the future.

 Make it your own and your children’s future and their future prosperity – and not a growing bank balance for the outsiders who see it as a financial investment.

Mrs Ann Holt,