WHATEVER has happened to the Northgate pedestrian underpass?

It appears that Darlington council’s maintenance department has procured a large batch of not-fit-for-any-purpose cream paint.

Last autumn, evergreen bushes above the subway were hacked down almost to the point of extinction.

The few desolate green shoots which struggled to emerge in the spring, were then brutally dug out completely.

Tarmac was applied to the central reservation, and cream paint applied to the ceilings.

Last week, all three pathways leading in and out of the subway were ‘scarified’ and painted in – you’ve guessed it – cream!

Within 24 hours of re-opening, this brand-new surface had been urinated on, black tyre marks and worn patches appeared.

Now (a few days later), someone else has suffered from a weak bladder, together with more tyre marks, black footprints, not to mention a general, nasty, muddy texture throughout.

I wonder why the council couldn’t have weeded, pruned and generally cleared the Garden Street car park, roads and back lanes to the east of this hapless subway instead – using less time, money and resources?

It must have been quite a challenge to restore a piece of Brutalist architecture to an even greater state of dilapidation than it was already.

However, good news!

At least one brand new litter bin was being installed as I walked through this afternoon.

Madeleine Sutcliffe, Darlington