LETTERS: Yesterday’s visionaries

FURTHER to Bruce Donaldson’s comments (‘‘Trams could be link to regeneration’’ Letters 29/11) regarding the Newcastle Herald’s cover shot of Hunter Street in 1938, it makes you wonder how we let Hunter Street and the CBD get into the mess it is today.

 All forms of transport are visible as well as a wonderful open-plan vista of Hunter Street.

 My solution: rebuild Hunter Street to replicate all that is in this picture. The dark, closed-in mall is mildly uninviting and was not always like his.

 I know we probably can’t go back, but gee it looks good.

  History shows that there were train and tram tracks all over Newcastle reaching out to the suburbs and to the coalfields. The Wallsend tram service went right through the grounds of the University of  Newcastle at Callaghan. What a bonus that would be today.

Meanwhile, Sydney was enjoying the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is still a most practical road and rail corridor for Sydney.

What was it about the 1930s that people were so forward-thinking to build such infrastructure?

Unfortunately our public transport has been put to rest, and instead of improving  it I think the smart people were replaced with people without a vision to the future.

 Now we are  looking at  10-, 20-, 30-year plans.   I do not have confidence that the current planners have the necessary skills to achieve  acceptable results.

 John Freund

Adamstown Heights

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