Letters: Hearts should budge stadiums to the Gyle

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Regarding Ann Budge’s comments that Hearts should remain at Tynecastle once the main stand 
 is replaced; Tynecastle is used (typically) once a fortnight during the football season. Apart from stadium tours, the Hearts shop and restaurant bookings, the club have no other way of earning revenue from it, particularly during the close season.

My view is that Hearts should move to the Edinburgh Park area (the Gyle), not just as a football stadium but as part of a major sports complex that is used all year.

I am aware that a sports facility is being built at Heriot-Watt just a few miles away. Perhaps the two facilities could complement each other.

I know my views are not popular with a significant section of the Hearts support, but Edinburgh badly needs a sports facility to replace Meadowbank.

All I am saying is that Ann Budge, the council and perhaps other Scottish sports bodies and an entrepreneur, if interested, should consider it.

The Gyle has excellent transport links by road, rail and tram, second to none. I believe it is a one-off chance while the land is available.

If Ann Budge decides to remain at Tynecastle so be it. Ann will do what she thinks is best for our famous football club and that’s all that matters in the end.

My address has no bearing on my opinion that Hearts should relocate to the Gyle.

George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh

PM Cameron faces his Waterloo over Europe

As the dust begins to settle after the general election it is the issue of Europe, as was the case for John Major’s Conservative administration between 1992 and 1997, that will dominate the early years of Mr Cameron’s second term.

Like Mr Major, Mr Cameron enjoys a wafer-thin majority. In the case of the former this was 21 and for the latter a mere, if unexpected, 12 MPs.

And it is against this background that Mr Cameron has pledged ‘fundamental’ reform of the European Union, putting this deal or EU withdrawal to the electorate in a referendum in the next two years, an issue that will prove deeply divisive.

It is highly unlikely that Mr Cameron will be able to achieve the level of reforms expected by his backbenchers. There is, for example, no desire from the French and Germans to open up the treaties and embark on the major reform of key issues such as immigration, with a key principle of EU 
membership being free movement. It was 200 years ago this year that the course of Europe’s history changed with the Battle of Waterloo, located in what is now Belgium.

Mr Cameron will need to keep his wits about him to ensure that he does not meet his Waterloo when he returns from the Brussels negotiations, facing a similar fate to that endured by John Major who met backbench rebellions over the Maastricht Treaty, and ended up being turfed out of office in a 
crushing electoral defeat.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Super wide footpaths can house cycle lanes

There have been a number of complaints regarding the cost of providing dedicated cycle paths. I would like to suggest an obvious route which would have minimal cost and greatly improve road safety.

A number of years ago the city council reduced Niddrie Mains Road from two lanes on both sides of the carriageway to one lane each side. In doing this they increased the existing wide pavements to double their width to around five metres.

Very few recesses were provided to pull in at bus stops, so all following traffic has to stop behind a bus.

Today a bus was stationary at a stop with hazard lights on. A cyclist pulled out to overtake and almost collided with oncoming traffic.

Taking into account the width of the pavements surely this would be ideal route to create cycle paths.

With hindsight, why bus lanes were not created on this busy main route rather than widening the pavements in the first place is something I have never understood.

John M Tulloch, Duddingston Park South, Edinburgh

Future looks Green for Scottish Parliament

Many thanks to all the voters in Edinburgh who voted Green in the general election, ensuring that the Green vote doubled from 2010 and that we came ahead of the Liberal Democrats in four out of the five constituencies.

This was a contest where the election system means that tactical voting dominated. For every one Green voter, four or five others were telling me that they were voting for another party this time but backing the Greens for the Scottish Parliament elections in 2016.

We are determined to earn that level of support, of course, but in that scenario the number of Green MSPs would soar to record levels, championing a vision of a fairer, greener, welcoming Scotland.

With party membership continuing to climb as well, the future looks really bright for the Scottish Greens.

Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian

Charitable Gordon

I think that Jimmy Hill is incorrect in his statement that Alex Salmond is the only politician who makes donations to charities (Letters, April 20).

Royalties from Gordon Brown’s books go to charities, as also do the royalties of Behind the Black Door which was written by Mrs Brown. Proof of this will be found in the books.

Mr Brown did not accept his payment as an ex-PM.

Margaret Mavor, Craiglockhart View, Edinburgh