Letters: Commuter hover not worth the bother for Firth of Forth

The Hovercraft between Portobello and Kirkcaldy ran for a fortnight
The Hovercraft between Portobello and Kirkcaldy ran for a fortnight
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Have your say

I am glad to see the proposals for the hovercraft appear to have been scuppered (News, December 10). I admit when the trial took place between Kirkcaldy and Portobello I waited in a queue at Kirkcaldy for the best part of three hours to get a shot.

Although it was very busy when the trial took place I do not think this was ever going to be a viable project. Most of the 30,000 passengers were probably only there for the novelty value. Once the novelty value wore off, how many passengers would be willing to use the service on a daily basis?

If a project like this was ever to be viable I think it would have to be done on a circular basis i.e starting at Kirkcaldy and going right up the Fife Coast calling at all the big commuter towns such as Burntisland, Aberdour, Dalgety Bay and Inverkeithing and then zip across the Forth and call at places such as South Queensferry, Granton, Newhaven, Leith and Portobello and then back to Kirkcaldy again. There would also have to be good transport links at the points where you were dropped off.

I think it is the right decision to drop this project and other than the people of Kirkcaldy or Portobello it would not be of benefit to many people.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Craft has sucked up public money

WHEN we consider the total ineptitude with which Edinburgh City Council has handled the installation of trams in the city, we should not be surprised it has refused permission for the Fife/Edinburgh hovercraft service.

No doubt it regards the £92,000 of public funds, which it donated towards the development of this service, as just a drop in the financial ocean of mismanagement which it has created in the city. I hope that when the local elections come round, that the voters will select their candidate by his/her work experience and ability rather than by political party.

Rosemary McDougall, Ford, Midlothian

Not daft enough to follow our lead

IT is reported that the cost to Scotland’s economy of 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets is £10-11 billion, a sum described by the Greens’ Patrick Harvie as “far more affordable than the cost of doing nothing”. But nothing is precisely what it will achieve: global emissions are rising steadily.

Our “world-leading” reduction drive aimed at our “world-damaging” input of a mere 0.15 per cent of total emissions is a mirage; no-one is following this lead. Every gram of carbon removed from Scotland’s output will be replaced by other countries.

I assume the £11bn includes the cost to residents and business of artificially inflated energy prices and the jobs consequently transferred to non-participating competitor countries, such as China, India and Brazil, who are not stupid enough to follow our imaginary “lead”.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Finding the facts about HIV virus

I AM writing about your article “Couple jailed for having sex in city pool” (News, December 7). The article indicates that police officers “were forced to endure three days of painful medication which left them suffering from horrifying side effects” and that “doctors told them they would have to wait six months before they would know whether they had caught HIV”.

Although the statements are based on information from people involved in the case, the information is inaccurate and misleading. After potential exposure to HIV, people can take a month course of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP), which can prevent people from becoming HIV positive. However, your article suggests that this medication is only required for three days. Although the side effects are unpleasant, the reference to “horrifying side effects” sensationalises PEP and may put people off accessing this important treatment.

The doctors in this case were wrong to advise the police that they had to wait six months before they would know whether they have the virus.

It is now possible to get a reliable HIV test result one month after an exposure incident. There is no danger that the police officer could still test HIV positive four months after the incident as your article goes on to suggest.

At website www.HIVaware readers can find all the facts about HIV.

Deborah Jack, chief executive, NAT, London