T oni Giugliano calls for action on Edinburgh’s ‘many transport problems’ (News, February 9). I am pleased that the issue of transport and air quality is so high up the political agenda for all candidates in the Edinburgh Western area. We all desire a better future for the city’s transport system, but I question exactly what Mr Giugliano’s ‘bold plan’ entails.
We recognise the need to tackle pollution, road surface defects and congestion on our streets and have made a firm commitment to create one of the greenest, healthiest and most accessible transport systems in northern Europe.
Our Local Transport Strategy 2014-2019 sets out a range of objectives to reduce carbon emissions and encourage sustainable and active travel and we are making great strides towards achieving this.
On St John’s Road, we are making every effort to address pockets of poor air quality and monitor continuously. In fact, 97% of our streets meet required standards.
Contrary to Mr Giugliano’s claim that we don’t do enough to incentivise active travel, the council is investing more and more in cycling and walking infrastructure every year.
In 2015/16 Edinburgh City Council allocated 8% of its transport capital and revenue budgets for cycling. We are currently working on a range of innovative and family-friendly projects, including a segregated new cycle route linking the east and west of the city and our Quiet Routes network, which aims to cater for younger or less confident cyclists.
Our pioneering move to become Scotland’s first 20mph city this summer is going to vastly improve the streets for cyclists and pedestrians by creating a more relaxed and attractive atmosphere, which I believe will play a huge part in the ‘culture change’ of which Mr Giugliano speaks.
Our award-winning Lothian Buses and Edinburgh Trams services continue to attract customers, while our ambition to extend the tram line is set to bring its benefits to some of the city’s most densely populated areas.
We want to work closely with fellow councils to improve public transport links, reducing the number of people driving into the city each day. Central to this is our City Region deal bid to UK and Scottish Governments which, if successful, would result in millions of pounds of investment in transport infrastructure across the Edinburgh and South East Scotland area.
Toni Giugliano may call for ‘bold action’. There’s still some way to go but I think our ‘bold’ plan is well on its way.
Cllr Lesley Hinds, Transport and Environment Convener, the City of Edinburgh Council
State of education does not add up
It was brought home to me recently just how serious the state of numeracy is nowadays. I was paying a lunch bill in a restaurant by credit card. The bill was £77.50 and I told the waitress to round it up to £85. She could not work out in her head how much to put in the space for gratuities.
One of the people I was with told me that at his newsagent the day before the assistant couldn’t add the prices of two papers together.
Standards of literacy in both spoken and written English are dreadful. Matters can only get worse as the pupils, poorly taught, become teachers themselves. The downward spiral is not going to be a simple matter to reverse.
I would seriously suggest that schools recruit English teachers from countries where they have been taught English as a second language. These people will have been taught proper grammar and syntax, how to parse a sentence and recognise which noun governs which verb, all of which will be a total mystery to today’s students in Scotland.
Donald Lewis, Gifford, East Lothian
Join me in promoting life after stroke award
After the devastating moment when a stroke strikes, the healing process can be a labour that takes a life-time. It takes mettle, tenacity and patience, not only from the survivor but a legion of family, friends and medical professionals to reassemble the fragments of yourself.
The Life After Stroke Awards are an opportunity recognise the courage of stroke survivors and their supporters everywhere. I would like to urge anyone who knows an undaunted stroke survivor or a remarkable carer to nominate that person for a Life After Stroke Award today.
There are around 121,000 stroke survivors living in Scotland, which means there are a lot of unsung heroes who deserve recognition and celebration. Nominations for the awards are open until 30 April 2016. For more information, go to www.stroke.org.uk/lasa.
Andrew Marr, BBC TV
Bring back steamies and save the climate
Climate change minister Aileen McLeod suggests washing our clothes at a lower temperature to save energy.
Really substantial savings could be made if we reverted to the use of street corner ‘steamies’ where we could all wash together.
Replicating the washing process in each house at a desperate time like this is irresponsible.
Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood, Kinross
Fracking’s best way forward for energy
Once the May election is out of the way, and no doubt the SNP continues in government, I wonder if fracking will be given the go-ahead, as it seems to be the only option if power cuts are to be avoided.
William W Scott, St Baldred’s Road, North Berwick