Letters: Rethink hovercraft route for green option

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Have your say

I read with interest the article “Hovercraft service dream for the Forth resurfaces” (Evening News, December 19).

As an independent candidate in the upcoming Kirkcaldy East council by-election I would certainly welcome a service like this being set up in Kirkcaldy and the potential jobs that it may bring to the area.

However, I think the model is wrong and the service should be circular in nature rather than a straight run between Kirkcaldy and Portobello. I think the service should start at Kirkcaldy and call at Kinghorn, Burntisland, Aberdour, Dalgety Bay, Inverkeithing, Rosyth and then zip across the Forth to South Queensferry, Newhaven/Granton and finally calling at Portobello and perhaps another one operating the same route but in the reverse direction. This route would also provide additional jobs as landing stages would have to be built and staff found to manage them and issue tickets.

If a route such as the above could be run and it tied in well with bus/tram links on the Edinburgh side then it could have the potential to take quite a number of cars off the road.

The proposed Kirkcaldy-Portobello route would certainly not be a greener option for someone like myself who lives in Rosyth as I would use as much fuel driving to Kirkcaldy to catch this service as I would driving across the Forth Road Bridge into Edinburgh.

Alastair Macintyre, Webster Place, Rosyth, Fife

Saltire should fly for John Muir centenary

John Muir is Dunbar and East Lothian’s most famous son, and it is right that December 24, the centenary of his death, should be commemorated in the town.

However, Dunbar Community Council (DCC) intends to mark the occasion by flying the American Stars and Stripes and the British Union flag from the flagpoles above the Town House. To do this, the Scottish Saltire is to be taken down.

This is preposterous. The two flags that should fly on John Muir’s centenary are the flag of the USA where he died and the flag of Scotland where he was born. The Stars and Stripes and the Saltire are the flags that fly at the John Muir Birthplace, and these are the flags that flew at the Town House when the John Muir Way was opened in April. So why on earth do DCC want to fly the Union flag in preference to the Saltire?

When John Muir arrived in Edinburgh in 1893, he wrote back to his wife stating: “I am a Scotchman, and I’m home again”. There is no doubt that he considered Scotland rather than Britain to be his homeland. 
Similarly, the thousands of Americans who travel to Dunbar because of the John Muir connection are in no doubt that it is Scotland they are visiting.

There is still time for the Stars and Stripes and Saltire to fly together to mark 100 years since the passing of the great man. DCC should reconsider what was a bad decision.

D Williamson, Rosebery Place, Dunbar

Prices show Scotland can’t rely on its oil

aS a number of commentators have pointed out, the dramatic fall in the price of oil has given credence to those who voted No in the referendum. A recent survey has shown that the No voters were influenced by economic considerations rather than the promise, late in the day, of additional powers.

It is too much to hope that the First Minister and her predecessor will ever admit to the folly of their pre-referendum claim that the price of oil would not fall below $110 per barrel. Hopefully those who still hanker for independence will now realise that the Scottish economy is extremely fragile as long as it is so heavily dependent on “black gold”.

If the SNP is ever to achieve its goal it can only be when they can genuinely point to Scotland having a broad based economy. In the meantime the priority must be to tackle the business of governing the country – something that appears to have been seriously neglected in the last two years. The problems in the NHS and in education are very stark and need urgent 
attention. Westminster cannot be blamed for everything!

Andrew P Gray, Dublin Street, Edinburgh

Thank you for helping child abuse charity

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of your readers who have supported the work of NSPCC Scotland during the last year. Without the backing of local people the NSPCC would not be able to help abused children rebuild their lives, or be there for parents who desperately need advice and support.

As we move into 2015 I would like to appeal to your readers to make a very special kind of New Year’s resolution for NSPCC Scotland. Just One Day is a call for people to volunteer some time to support our work – even if people can only spare one day, it will be a massive help.

Abuse ruins childhood, but it can be prevented. That’s why the NSPCC is here. Please join us in the fight for every childhood by volunteering some time to support NSPCC Scotland. To find out more call 0141 420 3816 or log on to nspcc.org.uk/volunteer.

Gemma Higlet, NSPCC Scotland

Wildlife bus spreads a good message

Pupils from Broomhouse Primary were learning about wildlife all thanks to a special double decker education bus which was touring Scotland (News, December 15).

The Wild About Scotland Bus is visiting schools in Edinburgh as part of a wider campaign across the country. What a good idea to teach pupils about Scottish native species and their habitats.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh