Student spending: M D Chadwick (Advertiser, week ending October 9) has wrongly managed to conclude that all the woes of the city are the fault of the student population.

It is most likely that the Safeway store will close. It was built at a time when there was no competition, it has a chargeable car park which never feels very safe, and is prohibited from having exterior signage due to planning restrictions.

So those who shop there must be people unable to get to the far larger stores of Tesco and Sainsbury because they do not have cars. Their lack of cars suggest that A, they could be students and B, if they have no car their spend per visit is likely to be less than it would be at either Tesco or Sainsbury's.

While I agree with Mr Chadwick that Morrisons is to be applauded for its anti-trolley dumping policy it is clear that his objection to the student population has obscured his view of reality.

In one street at least five of the 18 or so houses are occupied by students. These are generally of a very high standard and house six adults for seven months in the year.

If they were replaced by a conventional two plus two family they would no doubt come with a car - which would undoubtedly drive them straight to Tesco for the weekly shop.

If not, who eats more - six adults in seven months or two adults and two children in 12 months?

I do believe that student accommodation should be controlled by better regulation but if the students go to self sufficient campuses out of the city there is a danger that those businesses that do rely on student spending will suffer. A balance is needed.

Peter A Smith

Gilesgate, Durham City

Anti-litter plea

IN response to E Watson (Advertiser, week ending October 9) and as a regular public transport user, for once I must write in defence of Arriva.

It is not Arriva's fault that the bus station and the rest of Durham is like an open landfill site.

It is the fault of the people from young to old who just abandon their rubbish anywhere including next to waste bins. It can be observed any day or night of the week.

I was brought up to place any rubbish I had in a proper receptacle, ie waste bin, or to take it home. From my observations, it seems to me that this policy no longer exists among the majority of people.

I find this in the older people quite disgusting as we should be setting an example of keeping the city and countryside clean (I do include any part of the world in this). When the oldies set an example then of course the younger ones follow.

So citizens of Durham and the county. Why not try keeping clean our once beautiful area so once again we could be proud of the place.Give it a try. Take your rubbish home or place in a waste bin.

G Percy, Brasside, Durham

Point taken

I WOULD like to point out that Durham City Council neither owns or has the contract to clean either the bus station or the Millburngate shopping centre toilets.

We are aware of recent complaints and residents can be assured that our Environmental Health Department will be working with both of the owners to ensure that high levels of cleanliness and hygiene will be restored and maintained.

Coun Fraser Reynolds environmental portfolio holder, Durham City Council

Plea for young

I write on behalf of three young people who live in Brandon.

This letter is an appeal for help and support from young people who live in the Dere Park, Grove Road area. Brandon has no facilities for young people whatsoever.

These three young people want to set up a campaign group to campaign for a facility for young people in this area.

If young people want to meet with their friends socially in this part of Brandon, why should they have to stand around on street corners with all the problems this can lead to?

Our excellent community-minded police beat officers, have organised a young people's consultation evening on Wednesday, October 20, at Brandon Community Hall, from 6-7.30pm.

If you are a young person living in this area of Brandon please come along and get involved.

Similarly, if you are a parent of a young person who may want to join the campaign please tell them about this meeting.

Getting our young people off the streets at night and in to positive activities will benefit everyone in our community.

Paul Taylor, Meadowfield

Regional Assembly

In recent weeks I have received four publications which concentrated on the vote on the Regional Assembly and associated change in structure of councils in the Durham County area. One was from the city council, three were from the county council.

City News was informative, emphasised the importance of the council structure vote and encouraged voting without attempting to influence the vote. The county council publications Countywide, a leaflet entitled You Decide and the cover that accompanied the Advertiser, while informative, were clearly about persuading the public to vote for the single unitary authority. I would have thought this a misuse of public money.

The county council argues that it currently provides 86 per cent of the services.

This is based on it having 86 per cent of the costs. But what about value for money? As an example take the publications through my letter box. The county council had 75 per cent of the costs but one informative and unbiased publication was all I required and this was delivered by the city council.

A L Simpson, Deans Walk, Durham City

Traffic blues

I am writing with regard to the ridiculous traffic lane system between the bottom of North Road and the new traffic lights.

Coming from the car park and wishing to turn left at the lights, one is confronted with two bus lanes and an outer one for forward traffic and a turn-left arrow at the top. As the bus lanes are often occupied by several buses and possibly cars, how is one supposed to get across to the inside lane?

Wait until the lanes are clear? This could take ages at busy times. Meanwhile cars behind are held up and probably impatient and not aware of why you have stopped, break the law and cross straight over to the inside lane.

I tried that once, and was berated by a bus driver pointing at the road. An accident or a case of road rage just waiting to happen, if it hasn't already happened.

I hope someone in authority can explain their planning.

L Duncan, Ushaw Moor

Action needed

RE the continuing problems with speeding traffic in Langley Park.

The facts are this. A 'speed visor' was installed recently at the top of Davis Crescent, Langley Park.

Having watched the excessive speeds of the traffic in the village being monitored by the 'speed visor' system I was confident that some action (speed ramps for example) would be swiftly taken to alleviate the problem.

Several months later nothing has been done and the speeding problem is worse than ever.

This situation is an accident waiting to happen, some sort of speed restrictive action is essential before the worst happens.

The much-touted lame excuse of financial restraints is not worthy of consideration when road safety is an issue, so let's hope that the authorities responsible take some action soon.

I would urge anyone who like me is concerned about this plainly untenable situation to contact the local Member of Parliament or write to the local newspapers.

Keith Alderson, Langley Park, Durham