Letters, Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Have your say

New market won’t change anything

I READ the latest article by Linda Colling re Sunniside with great interest.

I agree that the area needs something to inject footfall, as shopping areas rely on potential customers to be attracted to the businesses. However, I hope that Ursula Apreda is not expecting any great increase created by a market.

A number of traders from the Park Lane area had several meetings with a business manager to try and do the same thing last year. A farmers’ market was proposed and has been running for about a year. There are two items to note about this.

The first is that the market itself is held in a small section between Holmeside and Derwent Street and therefore does nothing to promote extra footfall in Derwent Street, Olive Street and upper Park Lane. Secondly, some of the stalls mirror what is already available in the city centre, thereby taking trade from established shops.

How this is supposed to help struggling business I have no idea, but neither do Sunderland Council. They get their fees for the market stalls, so that’s okay.

After all the talk and ideas put forward, nothing has changed.Businesses struggle on with no help from the council as to what needs to done to reverse the trend.

I agree with Linda that there appears to be a reluctance to venture outside the Bridges. Why doesn’t the council find the money to put up some type of awning over the pavements so that people can move around the city without getting soaked (I have noticed the weather is rather inclement at times, having lived in Sunderland over 50 years).

Other ideas:

Use the Vaux site for a 2,5000-seat arena for music/comedy events. It can also double up as a conference centre for various industries/retail/fashion etc.

Large hotel(s) to support above.

Lobby companies for call centres on the Vaux site, bringing people into the city.

Free car parking on the periphery of the city.

Pedestrian bridge linking the city to the Stadium of Light.

Link areas of the city with overhead cover to promote mobility outside the Bridges.

Bryan Foster, Ryhope

Mini mystery

I WOULD like to ask why in this age of austerity Sunderland Council have deemed it necessary to install a mini roundabout on Bonemill Lane at the entrance to Rookhope.

This is a small housing development, built approximately 25 years ago, on Bonemill Lane, Rickleton, Washington, containing only 31 houses.

Surely there are other roads requiring installation of such facilities, or roads which could have been resurfaced as they are in such a state?

Madeleine Stabler, Bradwell Way, Philadelphia, Houghton

Charity’s thanks

THIS year’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning was our biggest yet, with more than 2,100 people signing up to take part across the North East.

We are well on our way to raising a massive £343,000 for local people living with cancer.

But this year’s event would not have been so successful had it not been for our two wonderful interns, Maria Sweby and Alexandra Painter, whose tireless efforts saw our registrations hit a record high in some areas. The North East fund-raising team are really grateful for the support Alex and Maria gave.

Thank you Maria and Alex – we really appreciate everything you’ve done and wish you the very best for the future.

Kelly Knighting-Wykes, Fund-raising manager, Macmillan Cancer Support

Plans for Metro

YOUR correspondent Keith Cockerill (Letters, September 30) may be pleased to learn that Nexus is looking at three possible paths for extending Metro in Sunderland – more than in any other part of Tyne and Wear.

Such projects would take years to develop and we are some way from saying any is a real possibility.

The Tyne and Wear Integrated Transport Authority (TWITA) has asked us to do this, but it is not the TWITA which decides where a new Metro line, or some other form of high-quality public transport, gets built.

In the end it’s the Government that pays the hundreds of millions new lines cost – so it is Government we have to convince, based on hard facts about the number of passengers a scheme will attract and its benefit to the economy.

As Mr Cockerill says, Sunderland is the largest city council between Leeds and Edinburgh. That’s a good reason for improving Sunderland’s public transport but remember, neither Leeds nor Edinburgh has even one Metro or tram line yet.

Our own Metro system is a hard-won asset for the whole region, which is why we wish to extend it to more communities in the decades ahead.

Huw Lewis, Head of communications, Nexus