Not suitable for old streets

May I congratulate the builders who have rebuilt the collapsed historic walls at the rear of 47/49 Church Street in Berwick.

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:07 am

These structures, part of a row of historic coach houses dating from the 1700s, subsided shortly after a small tractor dug a small trench in the former Swan’s Yard to enable an archaeological evaluation of the site of the Chapel Street Coach Park.

Northumberland County Council has paid the cost of the restoration for an unknown sum, which no doubt will have to come out of the highways budget intended for repairs and maintenance.

This incident demonstrates the fragility of the historic building within the walls, and the folly of trying to steer huge touring coaches along late medieval street alignments.

Local authorities across the country are trying to get large diesel vehicles out of town centres and the very few supporters of this scheme have yet to justify why they are willing to impose such environmental damage and pollution on residents and visitors alike.

As most local coach and tour operators, as well as professionals in the tourism industry, have said the scheme is not fit for purpose and will not be used.

Berwick still needs a credible coach park, with toilets, visitor information, a cafe and a welcome for visitors. I hope that our new county councillors after May will ensure one of the many excellent alternative schemes is developed.

Eric Goodyer

Church Street