Letters, Tuesday, February 12, 2013

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Bridge is just huge waste of money

THE belated publication by the bridge experts in their magazine, New Civil Engineer, May 16, 2012, in which they slammed designs for Sunderland’s £118m bridge as a “staggeringly poor example of bridge engineering” and a “scandalous waste of public funds”, surely it would have helped if they were more explicit by describing some of the failings of the design.

 For example: The model of the planned bridge reveals that the pylons, 180 and 140 metres respectively, have their foundation in the middle of a tidal river. They are not mutually supporting, whereby they might offer some resistance to gale force winds.

 They also have an aerofoil shape, similar to boomerangs, which would impart twisting pressures on the foundation. There are no anchoring cables to counter balance the variable weights to both the north and the south sides of the inverted cable stay structure.

 As any boy Scout knows, a tent pole needs ropes and pegs to hold the pole vertical; so too, pylons need cables firmly anchored into solid rock.

 The cable stay design of a high/low level river crossing is so bizarre that nobody has ever seen the like of it. Was it not Archimedes who said: “Give me a lever big enough, then I can move the world?”

 In gale force winds, the unsupported stainless steel pylons would surely crumple.

 At the site chosen, the river is about three times wider than it needs to be when compared with two other locations identified as the “green and the blue routes”.

 Also misplaced is the whole of the approach road that would be necessary to reach the bridge. It would require the waste of millions of pounds in addition to the £120million set aside for the iconic bridge, in order to create a main road detour for no better reason but to increase land values for the present land owners adjacent to the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor (SSTC).

 The real phenomenon relating to the allegations made by the expert bridge builders, who are members of the Institute of Civil Engineers, is that the “waste of public funds” is not considered to be “criminal” by the police or the PPC, Ms Vera Baird. They claim that the issue is not within their remit to investigate – but to do so would be subverting the democratic process… which in turn would be wasting public money.

Ron McQuillan

Wits’ end over TV

I TOO am at my wits’ end regarding television reception since the change over to digital.

 It has not only cost me for the digital box, but also two visits from a television engineer who assured me the box and aerial were okay and telephone calls to Goodmans, the manufacturer of the box.

 Months later, it is still no better. Like the Crompton family, whose letter was published on January 29, I can only hope someone will be able to help us.

D Hunter,

Birtley

Not a good idea

LIKE most people, I am happy with civil partnerships. However, I do not think “gay marriage” is a good idea.

 In any case, marriage can only be legal by arrangements with a register office, while a church service is only a blessing.

 Most religious institutions do no perform so-called gay marriages up to now, but how long before the hated Human Rights Laws start making their presence felt?

 We would also have to rewrite the dictionaries to redefine the meaning of the word marriage.

Marjorie Matthews,

Sunderland

Tax Brits abroad

I AM an ex-serviceman and pensioner who has paid tax on the paltry amount I have saved over my lifetime because I have been honest and declared everything.

 So who wants the Beckhams back in this country.

 David, pictured, will play for PSG for five months and won’t have to pay French tax.

 His wife Victoria is staying in this country so her kids can go to school in London. Go ahead and tax their £190million to get back some of the money that has been “overpaid” to both of them.

 These people who call themselves British wherever they are should be subject to UK tax all the time or take their British passport off them until they have paid their taxes.

 The tax office should check on all UK bank accounts and money abroad and tax people on it.

 This might get the country out of the mess the Labour Party has left and also to stop these foreign footballers coming here, earning vast wages and taking the money out of the country when they leave.

Ken Smith,

Washington

Check address

THREE times in the last two weeks, my post has been put through my neighbours’ door.

 I’ve had post for the next road quite a few times too.

 I’ve seen the postman with his mobile to his ear so no wonder he puts the post in the wrong letter box.

Name withheld