Letters: Bridge visitor centre will enhance iconic structure

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Further to your letter published Friday, September 6 (Bridge is stunning enough without any dressing up), I would like to assure your readers that the proposals we have published to create a visitors’ experience at the Forth Bridge will only enhance this wonderful structure.

Far from being an “insult”, we intend to make any visitor centre a tribute to the brave men who built, maintained and restored this magnificent railway crossing. The Forth Bridge has become a feature in the lives of many people and our experience shows that, for the lucky few who have worked on or visited the bridge, familiarisation does not breed 
contempt, only a deeper fascination.

We won’t be “dressing up” the bridge – any infrastructure required will be designed to improve the locality and avoid impacting the profile of the structure. Our approach will be to design accesses which can be removed at any time without harming the iconic steelwork.

It’s an illusion that the bridge has ever stood in proud isolation, but for years, the only people who could get near it were painters, railwaymen and maintenance workers. We know from other similar attractions across the globe that we can offer a truly great experience for visitors without harming the beloved views of the structure.

We want to offer a world class experience to visitors from home and abroad and we’re confident we can make the bridge an even more popular feature on Scotland’s tourist map.

Craig Bowman, Communications Manager, Network Rail Scotland

UK could learn from Abbott’s policies

Australia’s prime minister-elect, Tony Abbott, right, has already vowed to immediately scrap the much hated and punitive Carbon Tax on emissions which many Australians blame for increases in their electricity bills.

He has always been critical of the wasteful pursuit of climate change theory and believes any changes are natural.

In another statement, welcomed with thunderous applause, Mr Abbott said he would immediately implement his border protection plan, under which the navy would turn back Indonesian fishing boats carrying so-called “asylum seekers” into Australian waters, thus 
denying any settlement in Australia.

This was the Howard government policy (1996-2007) and literally dried up the flow of immigrants because processing could take up to two years.

The UK Government should go there on a fact-finding mission since these two problems are uppermost in the minds of our people, yet this 
government does nothing.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Make banks’ impact on climate public

Most people in the UK invest money in the country’s biggest banks and pension funds, but we have very little control over what they do with our money. Every year, these companies pour billions of pounds into coal, oil and gas extraction across the planet, pushing us ever closer to runaway 
climate change.

Dirty fossil fuel projects are often situated in poor countries, but instead of helping more people get access to electricity, all too often they make local people’s lives much worse by robbing them of their homes or 
polluting their land and water.

We need to cure our finance sector of its fossil fuel addiction, and as a first step banks and pension funds should be made to report the carbon emissions from the dirty energy projects they finance. Only when their impact on the climate is made public will we have a chance of forcing them to reduce it.

Anna Mayfield, East Preston Street, Edinburgh

SNP will be weakened if vote result is ‘no’

Although the Scots’ disastrous defeat at Flodden is rarely mentioned in modern day culture, unlike the momentous victory at Bannockburn, the SNP might well be wise to learn lessons from the historical defeat.

If opinion polls are to be believed it would appear that the pro-
independence camp is heading for a rout and if that transpires, where would that leave the SNP as a political force in Scotland?

Just as Scotland became very enfeebled in the aftermath of the loss at Flodden, the SNP could indeed suffer the same fate if their independence dream is unceremoniously booted into touch.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Scottish remembrance site nearly overlooked

I am now in my eighties, and for many years I have supported the British Legion and always respond to their appeals. Recently they sent me a wooden cross that they proposed to “plant in my chosen Field of Remembrance” – but these were all in 
England!

I am NOT a Scottish Nationalist, but did wonder if there was a venue in Scotland where the cross could be planted. After several phone calls to their HQ in Melksham, they have now at last admitted that there IS a site in Edinburgh, to cover the whole of Scotland, and I have directed that my cross should be planted there.

I thought that readers might like to be aware of this and I wanted to let others know about the Scottish venue.

Name and address supplied

Balfour should stand down if job bores him

Considering the Tories have such poor support in Scotland, you’d think the last thing one of their councillors would be doing during a council meeting is playing games on his iPad.

If the meetings are as boring as that, why does he not stand down and let someone take over who might be more interested in the job he is 
supposed to be doing?

Sylvia Wilson, Maxwell Street, Edinburgh