IT is to be hoped that the Scottish Government will allow concessionary travel on the trams soon to run in Edinburgh (News, January 14).
Just because Glasgow has been arguing that such a move should lead to concessionary travel also being granted on the Glasgow subway does not mean that these situations are similar. The trams will in part replace existing bus services – the Glasgow subway came into being at about the same time as the diesel engine.
You can’t be on a tram and a bus at the same time – so, with the same fares being charged, there should be little extra cost to the Government of granting concessionary travel on the trams.
Nevertheless, Glasgow has a point, since what this dispute does highlight is the Balkanised approach of government towards public transport use.
There can be few other western democracies where competition and segregation is extolled above integration. We are decades behind Germany, France and Holland when it comes to promoting seamless travel in city regions. Most folk in Edinburgh buy a Lothian Buses pass and reluctantly accept that, if you want to use a First Bus or the train instead, you’ll have to pay an extra fare. Not for them the ability to choose, with one ticket, which form of public transport they think best suited to each journey being made – real choice that folk on the Continent take for granted.
After years of campaigning for meaningful progress on this matter, I wouldn’t bet a single tram, bus, Clockwork Orange or train fare that this will change any time soon.
Lawrence Marshall, chair, Capital Rail Action Group, King’s Road, Portobello, Edinburgh
World is your Oyster with card
As one of the few actual supporters of the tram project I was quietly pleased to see work progressing at a reasonable rate recently.
Then what do I find on the front of the News? Over-60s are going to have to pay to use it as the concessionary passes will not apply. No mention if day passes will apply, or have they not thought of this event? Incidentally I recall TIE assured us that it would be accepted and this in the days when the line was going to Newhaven.
So much for the integrated ticketing policy we are always being promised. Our councillors are always fond of their foreign junkets so why don’t they have a trip down to London where the Oyster Card is accepted on all Underground, overground services and all buses too? Even the one and three-day travel cards are accepted on all transport.
As a Hearts supporter of over 55 years, I wonder if the trams are using the same PR firm as Vladimir Romanov!
Scott Miller, Coillesdene Avenue, Joppa, Edinburgh
SNP rhetoric and reality are distant
since the SNP came to power at Holyrood six years ago, bus fares in Edinburgh have increased by 50 per cent. This adds around £250 a year to a normal bus user.
As ever, the SNP boast about free bus travel for pensioners – but as they have cut grants to the bus operators we all pay more fares and services are reduced that hurt pensioners. As ever with Mr Salmond rhetoric and reality are very far apart.
M Smythe, Dalry Road, Edinburgh
The waste of food raises questions
I WONDER if research has been done on just which consumers throw out food and why. According to reports a lot of food is presumed to be toxic because it is past a certain date.
Who sets this date – the producer, the middleman or the shopkeeper? How is the date arrived at?
Is the date the same across the entire country from the top of Scotland to the bottom of England?
Is it presumed that the produce is being kept under the same conditions at home as it was in the shop and that all kitchens are the same? Do the people throwing out food not have fridges or freezers?
B M Crawford, Bruntsfield Crescent, Edinburgh
Heart-breaking news about cats
IT BROKE my heart to read that three cats in the same street had died in a week from anti-freeze poisoning (News, January 12). Shame on the person responsible for these horrific animal crimes.
June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh