LETTERS: People power wins airport flight path row - for now

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The trial of the experimental flight path known as TUTUR will end two months early.

It is a national scandal that thousands of people could wake up one morning and suddenly find themselves living under a busy flight path. Up to 70 planes roaring overhead every day from 6am to nearly midnight generating noise levels above 90 decibels. Who could possibly be expected to tolerate that?

Residents across West Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife and East Lothian were subjected to it for four months, most with little or no warning. None of us moved to live beside Edinburgh Airport, the airport moved to us.

Thanks to a well organised and determined campaign by ordinary people, we have won two months of respite from the overwhelming noise, air pollution and devastating intrusion into our lives.

Although the airport’s plans to destroy the peace and quiet of thousands of people have not been kicked into touch completely, they will now have to undertake a proper consultation process before making any permanent changes to the flight paths above Edinburgh.

We have also exposed the real reasons behind the flight path experiment – it is not about airport expansion, Edinburgh airport could run more flights on the existing flight paths if they wanted to as, according to CAA figures, they operated 15 per cent more flights in 2007.

This is about increasing the available take-off slots from Edinburgh, so that the airport is more valuable when the airport owners – the venture capitalist company, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) – inevitably decide to sell their asset.

It is profit over people, regardless of the impact on health, environment or social cohesion.

While we have no problem with justifiable and reasonable economic expansion, it cannot be at the expense of the quality of life of thousands of people or the many businesses under the trial route that have been negatively impacted.

There is an open meeting with Martyn Day MP today. Friday, October 30 at 4.30pm in Blackness Community Hall.

SEAT – a great success so far, our next task is to stop the flight path becoming a permanent blight on our homes, lives and families.

Helena Paul, SEAT (Stop Edinburgh Airspace Trial) Campaign Steering Group

Maybury contractors show how to do it

The roadworks between the Maybury and the Drum Brae roundabout are nearly complete and within the estimated time.

Considering the volume of traffic on that road, delays have been kept to a minimum, often with only single lanes in use.

The finish on the road is of a high standard and the contractor and the workforce are to be congratulated on an excellent job.

George Ritchie, North Gyle Terrace, Edinburgh

Safety Council backs young people’s service

It might be Halloween but we want to make sure that health and safety fears don’t stop young people getting involved in volunteering and social action.

With stories in the media about health and safety red-tape and risk-averse authorities, there is, perhaps, too great a perception that health and safety is something to be feared.

We at the British Safety Council are supporting an ambitious, UK-wide campaign to encourage more young people to take practical action in the service of others.

A new website, www.britsafe.org/speakupstaysafe/volunteers - has been launched to support the #iwill campaign, which provides information and assurance to those who would like to help promote volunteering among 10-20 year olds.

Many of the tasks involved are low risk and more significant risks can be dealt with effectively by taking simple precautions.

By getting our message – ‘trust more and fear less’ – out to local communities we hope to help meet the campaign’s target, as defined by its charity Step Up To Serve, to make social action part of life for an additional 1.5 million young people by the year 2020.

So to volunteers, parents, teachers or individuals who want to encourage youth volunteering, we say – go for it.

Mike Robinson, Chief Executive, British Safety Council

SNP strangely silent on nuclear power

two weeks have elapsed since Westminster announced an agreement had been made regarding Chinese nuclear power stations being built in England, but not a single comment from the SNP.

We all know the Nationalist party is 100 per cent anti-nuclear power and that their main function in the House of Commons is disruption for disruption’s sake, but still they say nothing.

Have they finally realised that what goes around, comes around, and that it would be a bit rich to take delivery of a Made in China bridge, then comment on where your neighbours spend their money?

Colin Cookson, Stenton, Glenrothes

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