Letters: Follow the Continental route to safer road use

Bike crash scene. Pic: Kenny Smith
Bike crash scene. Pic: Kenny Smith
Have your say

Scott Whyte is absolutely right to argue that Scotland needs a package of road safety measures in order to tackle the increasingly appalling state of cyclist safety on our roads (Platform, November 13).

As I have long argued, more cycling-specific infrastructure is vital in ensuring the absolute safety of cyclists.

Wind turbine.  Pic: Ian Rutherford

Wind turbine. Pic: Ian Rutherford

However, as long as cyclists are being asked to share the road with motorists, drivers must learn to treat cyclists with more caution and respect. The same goes for cyclists towards pedestrians. Stricter liability is crucial in promoting such caution and respect.

It is therefore encouraging to see Mr Whyte acknowledge the role stricter liability could play as part of such a package of measures in reducing the number of cyclists killed and injured every year.

Where stricter liability operates on the Continent, cycling groups and individual riders testify that it is an integral part of road safety. It is an example we can and should be following here in Scotland.

Brenda Mitchell, founder, Cycle Law Scotland, head of Road Share, the campaign for stricter liability, Edinburgh

Politicians don’t care about the electorate

THE Government is out of touch with the voters, for it does not always act in the public interest.

That much is clear by just looking at the chronic shortage in affordable houses, in the gross exploitation of working and jobless people by energy giants who can raise their charges without any consultation with their customers whatsoever.

Then there are the elderly, who are paid the EC’s lowest pensions. No wonder UK residents are not interested in politics.

To re-engage the people would require a sea change in attitudes and caring men and women in the top jobs. A planned-out, costed programme of housing, job creation, investment in small businesses.

A lowering of the crippling rents and rates exacted in towns and cities, to empower entrepreneurialism and innovation.

A new view from political parties working co-operatively to create a UK feel-good factor across the whole nation, to effectively give the people reasons to be cheerful – that is what is required.

Not the cynical manoeuvring between huge global corporations hell-bent on following a target-driven heartless doctrine of pure capitalism.

Think of all the promises not kept, the spin to which all are subjected, the lack of transparency or accountability, the secrecy in high office, then you begin to realise that those in authority do not care about the public. It can only change when men and women demand the change they want and when, and if, governments listen.

Trevor Swistchew, Victor Park Terrace, Edinburgh

An ill wind is blowing thanks to green taxes

The National Audit Office said that household gas and electricity bills are set to rise faster than inflation and wages for the next 17 years.

“Green taxes” and wind subsidies are increasing energy bills.

Worse to come. Numerous Scottish wind farms are being completed long before the essential upgrade of power lines needed to take their electricity to the National Grid.

Under legislation introduced by the Coalition in 2010, energy companies sign “Connect and Manage” agreements for new projects.

If these wind farms are operational before the National Grid can cope then the developers are paid to keep their turbines switched off.

This could be up to seven years and cost £10 billion.

Between April and July 2013 the cost was £17.2 million.

Householders are therefore paying for the same power twice, for the power they use and the switched-off power.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Trams disaster is just latest comedic mess

THE political euphoria regarding the finish of the tram project is unbelievable. Do Lesley Hinds and her crowd of lame-brains still not realise that:

• Trams were not wanted.

• Trams will never be wanted!

• Trams will be a managerial and financial disaster due to the complete lack of knowledge of our politicians.

The trams disaster will join the other comedic mess at to be found at Holyrood.

The next mess creeping up is going to be the bridge nobody wanted.

GW Roy, Grays Loan, Edinburgh

Will there be freedom ahead for Christians?

It is a bit rich for secularist Neil Barber (Letters, November 5) to support moves to de-Christianise the Scout oath.

Secularists are supposed to favour removing what they call “religious privilege” from state, council and public sector bodies so in noseying into the business of the Scouts (a private, voluntary association), Mr Barber seems to be exceeding his supposed brief.

His real agenda may seem, however, to be a rather all-embracing campaign against Christianity in general, if his letter is read more carefully.

We know that Mr Barber’s small cell of secular activists does not want children to be exposed to religious worship in schools.

Now we learn that he does not wish kids to be exposed to any vestige of Christianity, even outside school in private organisations such as the Scouts.

He claims that over the years the Scouts have had organisers who promoted religion there – but in my experience, this was and is largely untrue.

In Mr Barber’s brave new, secular Scotland, will Christians and Christianity have any freedom at all? Some readers may doubt it.

Gus Logan, York Road, North Berwick