Letters, Monday, January 20, 2014

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Lack of taxi rank will kill our city

I AM wondering if anybody could explain to me what is happening regarding taxi ranks in Sunderland city centre?

 I am an old-age pensioner with limited mobility and need to go shopping in the city centre for my pension and everyday commodities. At the moment I am finding it very difficult as they have done away with the ranks opposite Boulevard and Idols, which I used frequently as I can’t carry shopping, especially food stuff, very far.

 The only other places are behind Marks and Spencer, which is a long distance for elderly people.

 I am not the only one who is finding it a problem – lots of my friends are also experiencing difficulties. I feel sorry for the taxi drivers who are trying to make an honest living, who, if they park where the taxi ranks were, are moved on by traffic wardens and told they will be fined.

 This is just typical of Sunderland Council, burying their heads in the sand and not taking people’s needs into consideration.

 By that I mean the ordinary people and those trying to earn a living – they are just ignored as usual. It’s about time the Council came down to earth and thought about others instead of themselves.

 Do they not realise that this is going to kill our city centre? People will go elsewhere, where the people are put first and those like myself and my friends can get a taxi within a short distance from facilities, because at the moment it is impossible. Sunderland is the only place I know without a taxi rank beside a main shopping area. I hope they will do something about this.

J Jessop,


Will fracking go the same way as coal?

DAVID Cameron was recently quoted on the subject of fracking: “Why should we import when we can extract our own?”.

 This from a Tory Government whose predecessors removed an industry which had been extracting coal for centuries and was good at it. It made the saying “Taking coals to Newcastle” a fact. The millions of tons of energy left underground will stay there.

 So there you have it – fracking good, mining bad. Let’s hope the frackers do not band together and demand decent wages and safer working conditions or this industry will also be sacrificed and Cameron made a Baron.

David Patterson,

Fence Houses.

Non-EU countries are doing fine ...

SO the choice facing people in 2014 is very clear: in Europe, in work; out of Europe, out of work (Angelika Schneider, Sunderland Echo, January 14). So America, China, India, Australia and Canada etc are all out of work? Or are perhaps planning to join the EU?

 You may say that those countries are not European, but then neither is Japan, but it still manages to sell to other countries, even to the EU (which is only for EU members).

 I do not think that the people of the North East would like being called agitating Eurosceptics, they would much prefer the term democratic voters. This is not North Korea, nor Hitler’s Germany. This is the North East of England, the mother of democracies!

R Tomlinson,