Letters: Cyclists bigger problem in bus lanes

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I often wonder what colour the sky is in the world of Ian Maxwell, of cycling group Spokes, (‘Cyclists out to put stick in spokes of motorbike greenway proposal’ News, August 23), since a motorbike can easily pass a cyclist safely within the space of one lane, green or otherwise.

On that subject, can you imagine a motorcycle ever holding up a bus? Cyclists do it every day.

Every working day on, for example, the A71 Calder Road, cyclists hold up long lines of traffic. They could use the deserted pavement but choose not to, they save that for in town where there are pedestrians to infuriate.

We build them expensive cycleways past – again, for example – Bangour Hospital on the A89, yet they choose to use the 50mph single carriageway road instead, endangering everyone.

Forcing cars and buses to follow at cycle speed increases both exhaust pollution and danger, yet, despite it all, Mr Maxwell thinks allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes is dangerous!

As for the tram lines, laws are introduced to cater for the lowest common denominator and if some cyclists cannot ride across a tram line without falling off, then they all have to be banned from ever riding near them. After all, ‘if it saves one life . . .’

Norrie Henderson, Corstorphine

Edinburgh

Ross Fountain is still awaiting a solution

Some years ago the Ross Fountain in Princes Street Gardens was refurbished at considerable expense to a working state, adding considerably to that area of the Gardens.

More recently this fountain has looked a forlorn, somewhat dejected feature. When Councillor Lesley Hinds was contacted about the non-functioning of the Ross Fountain, her response was that officials are looking into why. From observation it would appear the said officials are still looking. One is left to wonder what sort of impression this creates on the many tourists, particularly at this time of year and when working fountains are major features in many cities worldwide.

Ron McMurtrie, Riccarton Mains Road, Currie

The Union should be celebrated, Henry

How sad that Henry McLeish says that it is difficult to support the Union, (News, August 23). Nobody should feel it is difficult to support the Union, because it is the greatest political achievement of modern times

In the 300 years that the Union has been providing liberty, peace, prosperity, democracy and stability to millions of people on these islands, virtually every other country in the world has experienced civil war, tyranny, coups, communism, fascism or revolution, many within living memory. And all the while the people of the UK were living in enviable harmony.

The United Kingdom is an extraordinary and unparalleled political achievement, and its success rests in many of the things nationalists reject, notably an unwritten constitution and an unelected second chamber, which provide flexibility, stability, experience and moderation to counterbalance the will of the political class.

If the people of Scotland wish to deprive themselves and their children of that astonishing legacy, that is, of course, their prerogative. But a legacy that is such an objective triumph, and to which most Scots were happy contributors, is nothing to apologise for. Rather, it is something to justifiably boast about.

Michael Callwell, Oxford Street, Edinburgh

EU-US trade deal is a big threat to our NHS

People in this country are rightly proud of the NHS, and many are angry at the creeping privatisation now being introduced.

The service will be further threatened if a trade deal currently being negotiated with the US goes ahead.

The EU-US trade deal aims to open both health care and education up to competition by American companies. Under the deal, a future UK government could also find itself being sued for billions of pounds if it attempts to reverse NHS privatisation measures.

The government of Slovakia has already been sued for reversing the privatisation of its own health system.

Public health and education are essential for a fair society, and we must not let the government sign away our rights to these services.

There is a growing campaign against the deal, organised by a variety of groups including the World Development Movement, and I hope readers will join me in supporting it.

Anna Muszynska, Edina Street, Edinburgh

Better Together means better down south

We have heard much from the No campaign about the volatile oil price and the prospect of rapidly dwindling supplies.

If it is such a negligible resource, why not give the revenues to Scotland, along with crystal clear details of the promised extra powers?

From the point of view of the rest of the UK, a seriously dwindling resource is water, with many areas suffering an annual hose pipe ban.

There is more water in Loch Ness than in the whole of England and London tap water has been filtered through at least 11 people before it reaches a glass.

In the not too distant future there is every prospect of another pipeline carrying another Scottish resource south, for free.

While I’d be the last person to wish our friends down south to die of thirst, could the No campaign please dry up about Scotland benefiting from the altogether intangible UK dividend?

Joseph G Miller, Gardeners Street, Dunfermline