Letters: A solution to ScotRail’s reduced train services

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while it is understandable that ScotRail has shifted modern electric trains through to the Glasgow suburban network to strengthen services there during the Commonwealth Games, I can understand the anger felt by those commuting on the North Berwick line who have been unable even to board the smaller replacement Edinburgh-bound trains provided at peak times (Letters, July 23).

while it is understandable that ScotRail has shifted modern electric trains through to the Glasgow suburban network to strengthen services there during the Commonwealth Games, I can understand the anger felt by those commuting on the North Berwick line who have been unable even to board the smaller replacement Edinburgh-bound trains provided at peak times (Letters, July 23).

This is particularly the case for those coming in from Wallyford and Musselburgh.

However, a partial solution would be for those folk to use the regular service from Newcraighall instead, while the Games are on. In particular, many commuters from Wallyford drive to the station and it would be just as easy for them to drive to the large park-and-ride site at Newcraighall.

A further correspondent states that he and his wife and kids are thinking again about staying in Edinburgh during the Festival period because the last tram back to their hotel at Edinburgh Park is at 11.08pm.

Actually, the last tram from York Place is at 11.28pm – and there’s a train from Waverley at 11.51pm. Moreover, the N22 night bus service runs every half hour to Edinburgh Park throughout the night, every night of the week.

Lawrence Marshall, Chair, Capital Rail Action Group, King’s Road, Portobello

Games rebuff for homophobic nations

I loved the opening song and dance number for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

It was full of self-deprecating good humour and contained no attempt to disguise the kitsch element in much of our cultural iconography.

Led by two gay performers and showcasing some healthy ironic sensibility, this was the best of Scotland.

Neil Barber, Saughtonhall Drive, Edinburgh

Devine reasons to vote ‘No’ to independence

I have just finished reading Professor Sir Tom Devine’s book The Scottish Nation, written in 1999.

Some quotes –

“Even in the later 20th century, around two thirds of (Scotland) is still only suitable for rough grazing.” That gives us a productive area of about 26,000sq km, a little over half the size of Denmark, and about a quarter of the productive size of Norway. So we really are a wee country.

“The freedom of trade conceded in the treaty in 1707 finally seemed to be bringing the long-awaited benefits.” One of the reasons why the Jacobites got little support in the lowlands.

“What the Anglo-Scottish connection did . . . was to open up an unprecedented range of new opportunities . . . The overall result . . . was to the massive benefit of Scotland.

“In the 17th century, Scotland was one of the poorest countries in western Europe . . .”

“In the 1840s , around 67,000 Scots and English migrated across the border. But over threequarters of this number were Scots, who were plainly much keener to move to the greater opportunities in the south.

“The fear has often been expressed that some of these companies (overseas investors) regard their Scottish operations as ‘branch factories’ which are vulnerable to closure when the parent organisation is in difficulty.”

All of which confirms my unswerving intention to vote ‘No’ in September.

Ian McGregor, Succoth Court, Edinburgh

England should keep Jerusalem for anthem

I am delighted to see Jerusalem being used as the national anthem for English gold-winning athletes at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Sir Hubert Parry’s anthem is not only marvellous, but is clearly more appropriate than using the British national anthem, which is so commonly used by England in other sporting arenas.

In future football and rugby matches I looking forward to hearing Jerusalem ringing out at Wembley and 
Twickenham rather than God Save the Queen.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Losing Scotland would be a big family blow

We are two ordinary people born in the north of England in the 1950s, not economists or constitutional experts, and now live not far from the Scottish border.

The thought of Scotland possibly separating from the UK saddens us, rather as if part of our extended family were to announce that they were distancing themselves.

Scotland has a very strong international identity, in no way overshadowed by being part of the UK. Please don’t forget that lots of people in England, particularly Northern England, did not vote for David Cameron’s party. It would be sad if dislike for the current British Government and cabinet, which does feel very English and southern at the moment, were to influence Scots in this major decision; we feel it would be better to look at how the current union could be improved in all areas.

The strong feelings behind sporting loyalties may influence some. Our English family and friends who are football supporters naturally cheer for England; but if England isn’t playing they will be hoping one of the other ‘home’ teams win, so would happily support Scotland. We are led to understand this is not reciprocated north of the Border!

So, we have no economic arguments to put to you, partly because economic forecasting has been repeatedly shown to have too many variables to be reliable. We can understand many of the historic influences and the disaffection with Westminster but would just like to say, please vote to stay all together as the United Kingdom.

Linda and Winston Collinge, Cumbria