Letters: Let’s hope the price is right for new Borders rail line

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Have your say

YOU report that more than 2000 people have applied for 18 positions as train drivers on the news Borders railway line (News, February 7).

I’m not surprised since successful applicants will pick up a salary of nearly £40,000 after training has been completed.

It is very positive news, as I’m sure I am not the only one who had doubts about the proposed line ever coming to fruition, and the employment and training of drivers surely means it is now happening.

The railway should be a breath of fresh air for places near stations in Midlothian and the Borders as people with jobs in Edinburgh opt to commute rather than try to live in the expensive Capital city.

That’s why one key aspect for the success of the railway will be the price.

I hope ScotRail is sensible rather than greedy in fixing ticket prices. Value-for-money transport would attract commuters in their hordes, but steep prices as seen on other routes would see empty trains running on the line. Let’s hope ScotRail makes the right judgement.

Ian McArthur, Craigentinny Avenue, Edinburgh

Deal shows that it’s good to talk

You report (All Aboard, February 7) that a deal has been done between Edinburgh City Council and the Scottish Government to allow concessionary passes to be used on the trams.

Use of free concessionary passes was always part of the business case for trams: the only question is where the funding will come from.

The Scottish Government and the council have agreed to discuss the matter. That doesn’t take us any further forward on the funding. But it is always good to know the Scottish Government and the council are talking to each other!

Councillor Cameron Rose, Conservative group leader, City Chambers

Dog owners must try to get along

HELEN Martin in her article “Dogs deserve to use beaches too” is misleading when she states that the so-called “anti-dog lobby” want to ban dogs on Portobello beach (News, February 4).

As I understand it, the very reasonable idea being put forward is to have a section of the beach designated for dog walkers.

Most dog walkers nowadays are responsible and clean up after their dogs, but a walk along the promenade or beach will demonstrate that many do not.

Cyclists and pedestrians co-exist well in the use of the promenade and it should be the same with dog owners and those who would like a section of the beach for children in particular to play on.

There are enough divisions among the people of Portobello over the proposed new high school without provoking more.

Dennis Crawford, Edinburgh

We must land fishing chance

The European Parliament’s approval of major reforms to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) is to be greatly welcomed and is a major step forward on the way to a new and reformed CFP.

The new measures include ending the discarding of dead fish, estimated to account for around a quarter of current total quota catches, as well as mechanisms to protect endangered stocks, bring in more regional management and have more long-term planning.

Current over-centralisation of the CFP is therefore now beginning to be addressed, delivering effective fisheries management.

The historic vote is also significant in that it is a victory for citizen power, following organised lobbying of MEPs by ordinary people, as well as by high-profile celebrity chefs and environmentalists.

In addition, it also demonstrates the newly acquired powers of the democratically elected European Parliament, with MEPs sharing power with the Council of Ministers on fisheries policy for the first time.

The parliament will now speak with a unified voice in the endgame of negotiations with fisheries ministers and the European Commission – which already urges sustainable fishing.

With the hope that the changes can become law by next year, after more talks with the 27 European Union governments, we must not squander this once-in-a-generation opportunity to secure the reform that our fishing communities vitally need.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh