BUS STATIOn: WHY is the once Darlington Bus Station not a bus station any more?

I worked for this company when this bus station was built, and before that for the old lead yard, so I know a bit about local and long-distance services.

And at 88 I can still name the police friends who did point duty on Binns' corner and Miss Bartini's coffee stall on the corner of the Lead Yard.

On Thursday, I waited to cross the road market to Tubwell Row. There were three buses, a taxi and a car lined up to enter Tubwell Row. I timed the first bus getting out, nearly eight minutes. What is this doing to operator's timetables?

If you want to relieve some of the traffic on Tubwell Row, why not have out of town and long distance services in and out of the bus station by the dual carriageway which runs behind the bus station and Victoria Road, leaving Tubwell Row for town services only?

Darlington needs its long-awaited bus station back. - Name and address supplied.

CYCLING PLEA: DESPITE the advice of the police and the wishes of the majority of pedestrians, Darlington Borough Council decided to allow cycling in the new pedestrianised area.

Last weekend, police issued an alert after a spate of handbag and mobile phone thefts by youths on bikes.

Inspector Gordon Scott advised women to keep a firm grip on their handbags and urged everyone to take care with mobile phones.

In view of these incidents, will the council rescind or at least review their decision on cycling? - R Elliott, Darlington.

PAVING THE WAY: YOUR paper wrongly reports that the pedestrianisation of Blackwellgate and Bondgate is "complete" (Echo Feb 4).

The work which has been done in those two roads is within the law but it was intended, as I understand it, that both sides of the carriageway, like High Row, will be paved, which goes beyond the law.

By paving the whole of the carriageways the council is acting in excess of its powers, and will at some time, be called to account.

It will then have to dig up half the paving, and, in the case of High Row, restore it to what it was before, at great cost.

That will not worry the council or the councillors, since they would expect council tax payers to stump up.

It should, however, be of concern to every New Labour councillor since they could well be surcharged and/or disqualified from acting as a councillor for a number of years.

Do the councillors really want to gamble with their pockets and their future? - John W Antill, Darlington.

TRAFFIC CHAOS: DAVID Reed is correct in his observations (HAS, Jan 18). In my opinion, the bus lanes are useless as most buses don't use them.

Large areas in St Cuthberts Way have been paved over and put out of use for any traffic.

Previously, two lanes of traffic could exit the roundabout into Parkgate, but now there is one, often resulting in queues to the Northgate roundabout.

It would seem that bottlenecks have been deliberately designed into the town road system. This adds to any congestion caused by the extra bus traffic that has to use the ring road on the one-way bus routes.

There seems to be no logical overall traffic plan for the town, but the council say that we will have to get used to it as this is their version of the high quality transport system that they promised in their Pedestrian Heart presentation.

Where's the quality in this scenario? - L Hume, Darlington.