Letters: Drivers paying tax for roads they are not allowed to use

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I am deeply concerned by the article “Car ban plan for Old Town” (News, December 5). The number of streets in Edinburgh that are closed to cars and indeed other motorised transport is deeply concerning.

In the city centre alone I am unable to use Princes Street and most of the side streets leading off Princes Street.

The Mound is also closed and in the West End many streets are either closed or have major diversions due to the ongoing tram works. There have been recent threats to ban traffic from Holyrood Park and reduce speed limits and now this absurd plan for the Old Town.

If any more roads in Edinburgh are closed it could come to the situation where I am forced to give up a perfectly good job and sign on to the dole because I will be unable to reach my place of work. Before anyone suggests using public transport, I have almost lost jobs in the past because it is so unreliable.

It is time for the motorist to start hitting back at the authorities within Edinburgh.

Why do we drivers buy a tax disc every year?

We buy one so that we can drive on the roads. However, if we are not allowed to drive on the roads then why should we pay road tax?

It is now time for the motorist to start taking direct action, and a start would be to avoid parking and shopping within Edinburgh and start visiting towns and cities that are more welcoming to cars, thus starving Edinburgh of vital funds.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

The mother of all family problems

IAN Stewart (Letters, December 5) hasn’t made a good case for the legalisation of polygamous marriages in Scotland.

It is generally accepted that polygamy, unlike bigamy, involves a person being married to at least three persons of the opposite sex. If this is what Ian Stewart is recommending as the way forward for Scotland, his argument can be easily demolished without the introduction of faith grounds, but merely on practical considerations.

A polygamous marriage would involve a male having at least three wives and perhaps children by each to support; quite a financial burden. There might also be eight grandparents. I shouldn’t think this would be a very harmonious family circle.

But worst of all, who could cope with three mothers-in-law? Perhaps Ian should think again.

Donald Jack, Summerside Place, Leith

New role is a step in right direction

THE Scottish Government announcement of the appointment of a dedicated Minister for Youth Employment, with support across the political parties, is very much to be welcomed, focused on getting our young people into training, work or education.

Such a move complements what the Scottish Government is doing already through, for example, the delivery of 25,000 Modern Apprenticeships a year and the commitment to the delivery of a Sustainable Procurement Bill, focused on the creation of training and employment opportunities through major public contracts.

As the Scottish economy recovers from recession, it is vital that we have a strong workforce that has the right skills not only required in today’s working environment, but also forecast for the future, and that we are delivering these workers at the right time, in the right place and in the right numbers.

Jacqui Hepburn, director, Alliance of Sector Skills Councils in Scotland, Edinburgh

Relations with China important

THE news that First Minister Alex Salmond has signed a cultural Memorandum of Understanding while visiting China is to be welcomed.

Scotland has much to gain economically and culturally from creating stronger ties with China in business, education and the arts.

Just last week we hosted a nine-strong delegation of Chinese museum curators on a high-profile visit to a number of our top museums, including the refurbished National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

We’re very hopeful the trip will result in more exhibitions from China coming to Scotland and vice versa.

The Memorandum of Understanding is an important step in building an even more fruitful Sino-Scottish relationship in the future.

Lloyd Anderson, director, British Council Scotland, Holyrood Road, Edinburgh