Letters, Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Have your say

Be clear about the proposed fare rises

I WANT to be clear about the fares that would be charged in Sunderland if buses were brought under local control.

 The ITA’s Quality Contracts Scheme proposal sets out ‘zonal’ adult fares that apply right across Tyne and Wear.

 The proposed adult fare for a single journey anywhere in Sunderland will be £1.30 at today’s prices, all child single fares will be 60p, and a new ticket for 16 to 18-year-olds will cost £7.50 a week.

 People with bus passes would still travel for free.

 What is more, future fare rises will be limited to the rate of inflation, so everyone benefits over time, rather than rising on average three per cent above inflation as they have in this area for the last decade.

 This will be achieved while reducing public spending by £7m a year, because a greater proportion of the profit bus companies make would be reinvested in local services.

 We simply do not accept claims made by Stagecoach last week about fares.

 It does not publish its fare information and has not shared its analysis with us, but claims that some people will pay more are based on five million journeys, which is only seven per cent of all the passengers they carry, and is less than four per cent of the 139million journeys made on all companies’ services in Tyne and Wear each year.

 This analysis would appear to be selective at best.

 We would encourage people to visit the consultation website at www.nexus.org.uk/busstrategy so they can see the proposal for bus contracts for themselves.

Tobyn Hughes,

Deputy Director General of Nexus

UKIP worth hearing

AFTER enduring, for as long as I was able, Ed Milliband speaking at the Labour party conference, I wondered who outside that conference hall would even trust him to organise a Christmas party at the local brewery?

 Prime Minister material he is not.

 Surely, we Mackams have outgrown this facade of socialism, these career politicians loyal only to their own image.

 New Labour, Old Labour – it is surely a spent force outside of some sixth form common rooms.

 His attempt to persuade the voter that he would freeze energy prices was mere rhetoric and as false as it is feasible to deliver.

A genuine effort to bring relief from that direction would be to abolish green taxes and give the watchdog more teeth.

 This, of course, would benefit industry and transport to boot, but since Labour is mired in the Green myth, Ed can only talk – and talk is cheap.

 Prior to Ed’s rumpus, Nick Clegg spent the week sawing off the branch he was sitting on while sticking a knife into the backs of all within reach – friend or foe. You wouldn’t want Nick holding the rope for your first bungee jump, would you?

 On the strength of one TV interview before the last election, he somehow managed to persuade the Lib Dems into a Coalition – a position so elevated, that the virtually unelectable Lib Dem Party members have had a collective nose bleed ever since.

 However, they are still sufficiently deluded to believe that they should call the shots.

 On the other hand, if like me you were fortunate enough to catch Nigel Farage of UKIP in conference, you heard good policies well articulated, thus dispelling the commonly held misconception that the party had but one message.

 Those who have yet to hear him speak and are interested in halting the decline in our day to day lives, please do yourselves a favour and go online for five minutes.

 Go to Nigel Farrage at YouTube or on the UKIP site and like me, you will probably be enthralled there for hours.

Denis Gillon

Wrong about beach

WITH reference to the letter about the state of the beaches due to the dredging of the port (September 27), the author could not be more wrong.

 The sand was removed from the beaches, especially the one in front of the yacht club, by the prolonged easterly gales we had in March and April. These stripped

the sand off the beaches and exposed the rocks that have always been there.

 The sand was then deposited in the deep water channel that is maintained into the harbour by the Port Authority, which is the harbour’s main source of income.

 That’s what prompted the dredger to call again this year as the sand from the beach had reduced the safe draft of vessels using the port.

 This is not unprecedented and the sand will return over time.

Captain M Allison

(M N retired)