Letters, Saturday, August 9, 2014

Have your say

Shocked at city’s rundown state

I AM originally from the North East and lived in Sunderland centre many years ago.

 It was one of the best times of my life. Sunderland was full of character and had its own unique style. I lived near Ashbrooke and used to walk into town via Park Lane, down Holmeside where Milburns cafe was. The whole town centre hummed.

 I recently had to visit Sunderland on family business and was looking forward to seeing the town.

 I came off the A19 and was diverted round the worst parts of the city, Grangetown, Hendon and heading for the docks it seemed. When I finally worked out where I was, I was near the museum, which was surrounded by awful buildings.

I parked in the Civic Centre Car Park and, stepping out of my car, was hit by the smell of urine. The whole car park was depressing and hostile.

 I was shocked by the state of Park Lane. The only good thing about Park Lane was Louis, the cafe, which looked like it always did. Holmeside was more like a shanty town than a main street. The buildings were decrepit and all the shops seemed to be of the same ilk. What a terrible view of a once lovely town.

 What has happened to Sunderland? What have the town planners done? Why is traffic diverted away from the centre and around the docks?

 Every town needs a centre which inspires the people who live there, but if I lived here now, I would want to run away.

Mrs E Stokeld

Fine is so unfair

ON July 8, I took my 96-year-old infirm neighbour to Sunderland Eye Hospital in my car.

 I have a Blue badge which I registered with the security by telephone. On arrival at the hospital, I parked in a blue badge only space. Parking is free in these bays and there is no sign of any limitation of the maximum parking time. The lady does not like being left alone in a strange place so I stayed with her while she was in the hospital.

 Obviously, this saved the NHS from providing an ambulance. We were in the hospital from 2.53pm to 4.30pm.

 I was shocked a few days later to receive a parking fine of £70 from a company called Parking Eye for parking in the hospital.

 This fine would have been reduced to £40 if I had paid up by July 27. My wife urged me to pay this charge to avoid any hassle.

 Many people would have done this and the matter would have been ended.

 I appealed against this fine immediately by letter, only to receive a reminder that I had not paid up. I have since emailed the company with the appeal, again.

 I believe these fines to be a con and they are unfair.

 I know that there is a shortage of parking near hospitals, however, no one goes to the hospital for fun.

Fred Stobbard,


A cracking read

WILLIAM Crane actually believes Mick, The Pen, exists.

 I am of the firm belief that he does not. Who would possibly have the time to write a list of complaints to a local newspaper about such trivial issues?

 I am not saying that the letters are not entertaining, they are. I would say that The Pen is the best writer in the Echo.

 However, I am convinced that The Pen’s an alias to keep the readers entertained.

 Either way it makes a cracking read and very controversial, which is a good thing.

C Lynch