I am worried by the article “Gas works spark traffic alert” (News, May 16). It would appear that major gas works are to be carried out on sections of Queensferry Road and some of the side streets leading from it in the very near future.
It also looks like this may cause traffic disruption and probably more so at the peak times.
As Queensferry Road is the main road from Fife into Edinburgh and is often very busy, I suggest the engineers from Scotland Gas Networks should follow the example of the Forth Road Bridge maintenance crews and carry out the work during the night to minimise delays during peak hours.
It is absolutely paramount that the job is completed as quickly as possible and that any road closures or diversions are only used when necessary and are clearly signposted.
Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth
Bible bashing is real church issue
The comments attributed to the former moderator of the Church of Scotland the Very Rev Dr Finlay Macdonald in “Churchman to shock flock with gay ministers move” (News, May 17) illustrate very clearly that he does not understand the problem that is dividing the Church of Scotland.
It is not about the ordination of gay ministers – at all.
Just because he has been the moderator and can quote the apparent resolution of previous schisms does not give any more weight to his position. The question facing the Kirk is – does it believe the Bible to be true or not?
Everyone knows the Church of Scotland is in serious decline in several ways, most notably financially and in attendance.
Yet the church worldwide has never been stronger.
The reason it is in such deep trouble in our country, which was once called the Land of the Book, is that unlike the majority of the believers worldwide it is no longer being run by believers in the book, but rather people who think they know better.
Norrie Wilson, Grigor Avenue, Edinburgh
Shipbuilding all at sea on our own
Why all the shock-horror being expressed about the revelation that an independent Scotland will not be receiving any more shipbuilding contracts from our old neighbours, and the loss of our shipbuilding industry and its 16,000 jobs that implies?
Independence will not be cheap; nothing worth fighting for ever is.
Any sensible government of Lesser Britain (as I suppose our neighbours will become known) faced with the choice of supporting (or building) shipyards, and construction jobs in either its own or a foreign country will choose its own if possible.
There are some who would argue independence is worth the price if we lost every job and industry in Scotland to achieve it – the old “they can take our lives, but may never take our freedom” argument in another form – but most normal people aren’t ready for that yet. Nor am I.
David Fiddimore, Nether Craigwell, Calton Road, Edinburgh
Apprenticeships open to pay abuse
This week marks Scottish Apprenticeship Week with a host of businesses and individuals championing the importance of apprenticeships and the value they add to skills development and succession planning to an organisation.
However, there is another side which is not quite in the spirit of modern apprenticeships. I have been dismayed to learn that a number of organisations are interchanging inexperience and apprenticeship in their new recruits.
People joining an organisation will go through a phase of learning the job and gaining experience.
That does not make them an apprentice. Yet some employers choose to identify them as apprentices and pay apprenticeship rates which are currently a minimum of £2.60 per hour. Compare that to the national minimum wage of £6.08 per hour for employees over 21 and, from an accounting perspective, this may look like an attractive option.
However, from the perspective of the employee, this is just cheap labour.
Loopholes in the legislation need to be shut down as they are clearly open to abuse.
Lorna Ashworth, managing director, Ashworth Black Ltd, Bo’ness