Junction safety: At long last, Durham County Council has found a sensible solution to the traffic problems at Kinninvie junction near Barnard Castle “Residents welcome new road safety plans” (D&S Times Co Durham edition, Sept 29).

When driving east/west I have always approached this junction with extreme caution in case some northbound idiot came flying across.

A vehicle activated warning and stop sign should do the trick.

Darlington and Stockton Times: The aftermath of a crash at Kinninvie crossroads in February Picture: SARAH CALDECOTT

The council’s previous plan to re-route northbound traffic was always a non-starter as it simply transferred the problem elsewhere and created an additional hazard on a narrow local road.

Attending the recent packed-out public meeting at Marwood Social Centre, I found the attitude of county council officials disappointing in that they appeared reluctant to change their minds.

They failed to explain why there was no northbound “stop” sign.

Read more: Safety measures to be put in place at B6297 Kinninvie crossroads

The police at least had a more open approach with their advice “you can’t prosecute your way out of a traffic problem”.

The sooner these new measures are introduced, the better.

Hopefully the residents of the house on the corner will no longer have to keep rebuilding their outside wall and repairing the roof after finding a car or van has again crashed into their home.

Chris Foote-Wood, Barnard Castle.

Parking cash cow

IT is my belief that North Yorkshire Council are using visitors to the Dales as an easy form of “cash cow” through the actions of their parking services.

I visited the town of Bedale on my way to West Witton to admire the church on a Saturday morning recently.

The parking restrictions sign stated Mon-Sat 8am-6pm for two hours and as I had arrived at 8am, I knew that I would be returning to my vehicle before 10am.

The words “disc zone” written above the time limits I have never encountered before as I live in rural Gloucestershire and I believed that with no ticket machine or board of instructions that as long as I followed the time restrictions on the sign, I would be parking within the rules.

A parking ticket was issued at 8.50am. I was told I had not displayed a disc.

Surely the purpose of the disc is to determine the time of arrival so that the car is not parked over the time allowed.

If I had not placed a disc and the time was at any time later than 10.01am then a fine could be rightfully issued as they wouldn’t be able to determine if I had arrived less than two hours previously, but at 8.50am when they issued the PCN, they knew that the most time I could have been parked was 50 minutes into a two-hour maximum limit commencing from 8am.

Why come around on a Saturday morning before 10.01am, with 10.01am being the earliest an overstay of two hours can possibly occur into an 8am-6pm enforcement period?

I would say that they know that people visiting the Dales from areas of the UK that do not and have never had parking discs as a parking tool are likely to be unaware of their usage or where they can be obtained and even though visitors abide by the time rules as shown on the signage, they are an easy target for North Yorkshire Council to make money from.

When I raised the question with North Yorkshire Council of why there are no signs explaining the rules on the displaying of discs at the parking bays or where they can be obtained from, their response was that it says within the instructions on the front of the disc!

Very convenient for them not to place a sign explaining the rules of the “disc zone” at the site of the parking hours allowed but instead on the disc that visitors know nothing about or where to obtain them from.

Of course, a simple idea would be to state on a sign below the hours enforced where such a disc can be obtained, or even a disc dispenser for those new to the area, but of course, then they wouldn’t be able to issue PCNs for non-display of a disc and rake it in from tourists then, would they?

M Jackson, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire.


I HAVE just returned from a visit to Darlington with the intention of visiting the indoor market only to discover that it has been decimated with majority of stalls having left and in their place a mishmash of food outlets with a wilderness area for non-existent clientele who are adequately catered for in surrounding cafés and bars.

I only hope that those responsible for this act of cultural vandalism can see how they have ripped the heart out of Darlington's town centre. Please, no more.

Grahame Levett, Long Newton.

Horse chestnuts

AS autumn arrives in Darlington and I pass through our streets and parks enjoying the changing of the seasons, I am struck (not literally of course) by the number of discarded conkers, lining pavements, paths and gutters abandoned and ignored.

As a child I recall these were regarded as treasure, sought after, collected (big or small, perfectly rounded or strangely misshapen), and carefully prepared for the traditional conker challenges that took place in the streets and playgrounds where we lived.

Has this annual ritual been replaced with other childhood pursuits or am I mistaken and need to be corrected?

Do we no longer stoop to conker?

Stuart Masterman, Darlington.

Nuclear threat

NUCLEAR weapons exist. Ultimately they must be used or their existence and enormous cost is meaningless and those that want to keep those things are illogical. Dummy replicas are just as good and much cheaper.

Just now there is the thought that the world is being driven to a nuclear war by Vladimir Putin. He is to blame. He is the devil. Even if we all die we seem to sleep easy because we know that Putin is to blame.

What do we do to avoid this possibility? Nothing.

The time is now for each of us to do something. Tomorrow may be too late.

We are lucky that we live in a country where our government represents us. If we tell the government via our representative, our MP, that we don't want to fight against Putin in supplying more weapons to Ukraine, they will stop.

We are not giving in to, or appeasing, Putin.

We would be acting in the interest of humanity and being proud that we are part of that humanity.

Chris Pattison, Richmond.

Mindless act

THE tree at Sycamore Gap on Hadrian's Wall was beloved by so many people, not only by people of the North East but worldwide.

Everyone has special memories, some got engaged here while loved ones have had their ashes laid to rest in its vicinity.

What could have motivated someone to fell it – a horrible and criminal thing to do to such an innocent, lovely life form (I learnt from the Tree Council I once belonged to that “trees are living beings”).

I can well believe this as you can feel a force from them.

People, optimistically, are calling for some good to come out of the situation, some suggesting a statue, or memorial plaque.

The idea I like best is to wait and see if new growth comes from its stump and see how it develops. Okay it won’t be quite the same as the original, but it’s from the same root/family and, like the phoenix bird, it can maybe, by nurture and care, live again, and people’s love can be rekindled.

Bethany-Megan Robinson, Darlington.

Toothless gap

VERY many people have been saddened and angered by what befell – "fell" being the operative word, Hadrian’s Wall Sycamore Gap tree.

Wanton vandalism. Arguably, a crime against humanity as so many have been affected.

Not in my time but in the fullness of time, there’s a possibility it will regrow and even eventually flourish, and so distinctively grace the landscape again. Let’s hope so.

The perpetrator or perpetrators deserve a punishment that fits the crime. I suggest hundreds of hours of supervised, community service tree planting.

Derek Reed, York

Lawless nation

IT would appear you can do anything you like in this country without redress.

You can rob, steal, and shoplift.

You can cause arson and burn vehicles, cause unprovoked violence, stab and murder, rape and sexually assault, drive whilst disqualified and uninsured.

You can burgle, deface and defile and, as a last straw, you can cut down an iconic tree for no good reason at all and deprive this generation and future generations of a beauty to behold, which was part of our common national heritage.

Lawbreaking is now a national pastime it would seem but let us hope those responsible are brought to justice, but nothing can replace what has been lost. We are all the poorer for this act of vandalism.

P Holmes, Barnard Castle.

We need oil

WHY the controversy over the consent to begin development of the largest untapped reserves of oil in UK waters?

For at least 50 years, we shall need oil, far better to be in control of our own supply than be dependent on the supply and demand system operated by Russia and Middle East cartels.

Multi-millionaire opponents, like Lord Goldsmith, display an arrogant ignorance of daily life, high energy costs to them mean little, they can afford to embrace themselves in costly unproven climate change commitments, quite happy to leave the rest of us to shiver.

Peter Rickaby, Selby

Grand job

I SPENT an hour last week in Darlington’s newly renovated library, what a good job has been done. To think that the powers that be wanted to close it not so long ago.

The Pease family knew how to build lovely buildings.

GO Wright, Sadberge.