Letters, Saturday, December 10th, 2011

Have your say

We should get two new river crossings

THE story headlined “Funds hope for new bridge” (Echo, December 5) contains fallacious arguments associated with moral scepticism and specious reasoning in a vain attempt to justify years of bad transport planning in which the public have not had reasonable opportunity to make objections in accordance with the planning legislation.

Indeed, the only true statement in the report comes from the new manager of TLG Consultancies, James O’Leary, in his discussion with Sharon Hodgson MP and others, that the new roads and “iconic” bridge, i.e. the Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTG), “would boost the value property”.

It just so happens to be all private property.

This fact is about the only thing that consultant lobbyist Mr Leary knows about Sunderland. What he will not know is that the demise of Vaux brewery opened the way for a new road bridge with a ready-made access road to connect Durham Road via St Michael’s Way to the SoL.

Such is the lack of foresight and vision by Sunderland’s council ...both Conservative and Labour.

A genuine “blue” new bridge route was established by consultant R. Traver Morgan in 1976 and again in 1991.

For the past 11 years, an improved (genuine) blue route form Durham Road to Newcastle Road has been ready and waiting. Likewise, “the genuine” Claxheugh green route, with a direct access to the south-side ring roads, has been ready and waiting for 11 years.

Whatever the cash from the government’s £6billion road funds has to offer, it should be used to provide two new River Wear crossings instead of the unmitigated frippery designed by Stephen Spence and Techniker.

The bridge building should, in my opinion, be open to competitive tendering by bridge-building companies. The Charles River cable stay bridge in the United States, with eight lanes of traffic, cost $100million in 2002 ... a fixed-price contract.

Ron McQuillan

State of roads

I UNDERSTAND the frustrations of P. Warner in his comments in the Echo when he feels that the normal channels fail to get work done and his concern about the unadopted roads in Hetton.

I agree that much could and should have been done about the unmade roads by Hetton Town Council and Sunderland City Council if the desire to bring us in to the 21st century had been there.

The roads he/she refers to in Shiney Row as upgraded and finished by the Area Committee are roads that have been filled in using road planings, and while I welcome this as a quick fix it is far from being a permanent solution as you can see when you look at the sections that have been down for some time. The money came from a small ward budget.

There is money in the council for improvements such as getting rid of the unmade roads that would brighten up the area and to achieve this goal I can assure you that I will play my part in getting your voice heard.

Coun Derrick Smith, Hetton and Houghton Independent

Appeal thanks

MANY thanks to those who supported our Remembrance Service and Poppy Appeal – Methodist Church Minister Alan Burns, musicians Irene Worthy and Jimmy Kelly, representatives from Northumbria Police, Councillors Tom Foster, Doris McKnight and Steve Foster and Castletown Scouts and Cubs.

Thanks also to Sunderland Football Club, schools, shops, bingo, offices, pubs and clubs for taking collection tins into their premises. The collection at the Stadium of Light raised £1,819.60.

At Morrisons Store the total was £2,007.95. Our grand total was £9,590.40.

June Nixon, Secretary, Royal British Legion Women’s Section, Castletown

Pension age rise

EVERY day MPs of all parties justify the increase in the pension age to 67 and beyond due to the fact we are all living longer. This is a deliberate lie.

I have done a survey over the last three months in the obituaries column of this newspaper and for the area it covers nearly 30 per cent of people never reach the retirement age of 65, let alone 67.

I urge all trade union members to push their leaders into fighting this rise in the pension age. I also urge workers who are not in a trade union to fight for the right to retire at a decent age. We are told that we have to accept laws coming from the EU. Well how come the French retire at 60 and the British work the longest in the EU?

I am retired myself but have no wish to see our people working longer than they should. We should all unite together to stop this.

Alan Brown, Thetford, Washington

Best of luck

COULD I wish my granddaughter Hayley and her partner Steph every success in their new business, Jealous, which has opened in Grangetown. We are all proud of them.

Mrs F. Rodenby, Stranton Terrace, Sunderland