Berwick quay reflecting in the Tweed, taken by reader Gemma Davids

Berwick quay reflecting in the Tweed, taken by reader Gemma Davids

Have your say

Berwick old bridge needs ‘life-saving’ surgery

I WALK the old bridge every day, like me it’s getting older, but luckily for me (63 years) I’m still fit and healthy. Not like the bridge, which seems to have a terminal illness.

Sandstone blocks are worn away in large areas and at one point you can see through into the river. In two areas the wear looks more than 50 per cent and is surely in need of urgent repair, mortar missing between the stones, cracks appearing from top to bottom in several places and some coping stones broken or missing parts.

This old lady needs CPR and urgent attention, and I’m sure if I owned it, I would be made to undertake repair or close it down. As a concerned person with a small voice, can your paper please help highlight the plight of the bridge and help get it back to its former self; it’s part of our heritage and it needs life-saving surgery.


The Granary, Berwick

Horse riders also need to be responsible on the road

A RESPONSE to the letter in last week’s paper titled ‘Drivers, please slow down for horses on the road’. Whilst I agree that responsible drivers should slow down when they see horses on the road and I do so whenever possible, horse riders also have to act responsibly when riding on the road and that includes wearing bright, reflective clothing and not riding two or three abreast just over the brow of a hill.

I have witnessed horse riders, on the same stretch of road as the writer refers to, riding two and three abreast just after the brow of a hill, and I have only once seen a rider wearing bright or reflective clothing in any weather. If you are going to ride a horse on a road where the max speed limit is 60mph, please make sure you can be seen clearly from a distance by wearing appropriate clothing and ride in single file.

No driver nor horse rider will wish to be involved in an accident with the other. The implications are horrendous.

I recently came over the brow of the hill on the B6354, where the trees grow either side of the road, causing that part of the road to be dark, within the speed limit, to find a horse being ridden by a rider in dark clothing travelling in the same direction as me. I slowed down as quickly as I could but there was a car also coming the opposite way. I ended up having to drive past the horse much closer than I would have liked.

The alternative was to try and stop behind the horse, which was not a safe option as I could have hit the horse or frightened it into the path of the oncoming vehicle, or have a head-on collision with a car travelling towards me.

It is not as simple as the writer makes out. I have no time for poor drivers and equally have no time for poor riders.

On the point of the Highway Code, I would suggest that horse riders also read it as it clearly states that they should wear fluorescent/reflective clothing on both the rider and the horse.

I understand the bias in the letter where your child has almost been injured but it is not helpful to put all of the blame onto the motorist. There are good and bad horse riders and drivers, such is life. Respecting each other’s choices is far more productive.

The intention of my letter is to try and see it from both sides so we can all use the roads safely.


West Ancroft

Transport Secretary has 
to see A1 at its worst

I’D like to applaud Alex Gibson for his efforts in his ‘Project Alex’ campaign to get the A1 dualled and getting the opportunity to take his 11,000-signature petition to Number 10. I also read that Mr Gibson, with the help of Sir Alan Beith, also got to meet Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport, who said that he’d look into the A1 situation and try and get up to have a look himself.

Very commendable Mr McLoughlin, but please don’t come up on a wet Sunday in February when there are hardly any lorries, white van men or tourists on the road.

We’ve waited many years to get this road upgraded and get the “Great” put back into The Great North Road, so if we can all perhaps wait another seven or eight months and invite the Transport Secretary to travel up to see our problems in July or August, midweek between 10 and 11am when the roads are packed with convoys of lorries travelling at 45mph with a mile-long queue of traffic behind them comprising many visitors just recently disgorged from the ferry at North Shields and heading to Scotland.

Surely a nice introduction for them to our ‘wonderful’ road system. If the Transport Secretary does keep his word and journeys north to see our problems, he will see convoys of lorries travelling so close together they leave no room to overtake and pull in between them, dozens of impatient white van men and sales reps taking unnecessary risks, roads clogged with camper vans and caravans, local traffic, tractors, ambulances and many Berwick people having to use this glorified cart track to visit our ‘local’ hospital 52 miles away.

This road needs to be upgraded or more and more people will die on this forgotten end of the A1. Not so much the Great North Road, more like the Camino el Diablo, the Devil’s Road.


Eastcliffe, Berwick

If the high street ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it

COUN Brian Douglas recently invited residents to express their views relating to the ‘Marygate massacre’ which he continues to pursue. Perhaps Coun Douglas is unaware of the fact that if something is not broken you do not have to repair it.

The high street is perfectly safe to cross but patience and vigilance are essential. The courtesy crossing between the former Farmfoods shop and the east side of the street was perfectly fine. Indeed, the current refuge crossing between Poundstretcher and Time Machine is a shining example of a crossing point which is perfectly safe to use.

Former police constable Mr C Routledge must have had his mind on something else when he commented “there could be a pedestrian crossing further down with safe crossing avenues between the parking bays.”

Contrary to the belief of some, there are still shops north of the Scotsgate arch. Many shopkeepers there are also feeling the pinch. The recently formed parking areas there are being misused to the extent that one man parked his car there overnight without the threat of any retribution.

As it poses something of a danger to emergency vehicles, the marked bays and their positions should be reviewed.


Tweed Street, Berwick

What will happen to ‘booze tourism’ now?

I NOTE with interest that the Government has confirmed plans to introduce a minimum price per unit of alcohol of 45p.

Given that this is still 5p less than the minimum price the Scottish Government is introducing, I wonder if Northumberland County Council Labour group leader Grant Davey would care to tell the people of Northumberland (and Scotland) how this will affect his erstwhile ‘booze tourism’ policy?

I would be interested to know how much alcohol people from north of the border would need to purchase to make their trip to our great county worthwhile, taking into account petrol and time costs, and what the expected knock-on effects on Northumberland would be. How much extra crime would this bring and how much would policing costs be expected to rise?

Or perhaps the ‘booze tourism’ policy was an example of speaking before thinking from a politician who really should know better by now.


NCC Executive Member for

Public Health and Wellbeing

Fayre raised £1,300

for Cancer Research

MAY I pay tribute to all who helped in any way to raise the very agreeable total of £1,300 plus at our Fayre in the Guildhall.

Thank you to all the stallholders and, of course, to the public, without whose support none of this could have been achieved, and to the committee in general and the secretary in particular for their considerable input.


Chairman, Berwick Cancer


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