In your piece (“Protesters start campaign against supermarket plans”, News, October 13) regarding local protest about Aldi’s plans – not yet passed, by the way – to build at Oxgangs on open grassland and adjacent church and social work surplus sites, an Aldi spokesman claims there will be “improved pedestrian access to the Broadway and library”.
Quite what these ‘improvements’ are is difficult to understand, as the direct routes with handrails across the grass to the community centre and the Broadway would go, under their plans, replaced with a walk across a busy car park with many steps at the other side.
The existing path alongside the public library would remain, but this has a steep slope and can be icy and unusable in winter.
Aldi’s planned building up of the site to level it would mean a brick retaining wall at the other side of the library path, creating a no-escape concealed alley.
Plans being difficult for the layman to follow, it would be a decent thing for Aldi to do – before their bid is given any further consideration – to provide a proper picture to the public of just how high this wall would be at all points along it.
Also, under their plans, this steep public path curves into a ramp; this would clearly attract skateboarders, which could be dangerous.
In addition, at the Oxgangs Brae end of the library path, there will be a high criblock wall. While, with its plants, it could look attractive, its many footholds would surely tempt children to climb up it.
CS Lincoln, Pentland Drive, Edinburgh
Bridge closure needs better managing
I write in connection with mishandling of the lane closure on the Forth Road Bridge on Sunday.
Let me begin by stating the obvious: maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge is an essential activity and will lead from time to time to lane closures or even closure of the bridge itself. Whatever the inconvenience, every motorist appreciates this.
However, the mismanagement of the closure to one lane, particularly for north-bound traffic, was egregiously handled. A four hour journey from Broxburn to the north side of the bridge was entirely unnecessary even with the essential work being undertaken.
Here are a few simple actions which with a little thought for the inconvenience and for some, distress, caused that could easily have been avoided:
1 It is not sufficient to announce ‘expect long delays’. Explicit information should be given; motorists could then make their own decision as to whether to take an alternative route, delay, or abandon their journey. This information has, however, to be given sufficiently early, not at the last moment when it is too late or in vague terms. Nor should it be assumed that information on the bridge website is going to be accessed in time. It is during the journey that accurate, good quality information is required.
2 The near gridlock could easily be dealt with by signalling alternative routes. Anyone travelling to Perth, Dundee, north or central Fife and beyond could be advised to take the M9 north as an alternative route.
For some, the option of the Kincardine Bridge could have been signalled, e.g. for those travelling to Dunfermline.
The mismanagement of the lane closure reflects a total lack of concern for those travelling.
I do hope that constructive comments on how to avoid such a situation in future are taken seriously, even if those who manage the bridge continue to hold the travelling public in contempt.
Professor James Hogg, Newport-on-Tay, Fife
Westminster hypocrisy over NHS workers pay
Many readers will have seen the industrial action that maternity nurses and ambulance staff had to resort to in seeking a very small pay increase.
Within an hour of the action Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt was on our television screens to tell us how such pay disputes would result in job losses.
How obnoxious are these ministers who are about to recieve a £200-plus a week pay increase themselves? Surely such a large increase should result in job losses in their own Parliamentary offices, but that is not likely to be a realistic scenario, especially when many of those in Westminster jobs are family, friends and cronies.
Some readers may think that the dispute is an English/Northern Ireland issue, but its is happening here in the UK, and we should remember that we in Scotland are part of that .
Colin Cookson, Glenrothes
Late night rail service should be extended
So Border residents are going to get a late train on their new railway at midnight to Newtongrange and Galashiels but folk in Fife and Dundee must see their last train a good 45 mins earlier.
Will the new franchise holder speedily address this issue? For sheer credibility it must.
Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh
Saving the planet is finally in the bag
Tesco tell me that I will save the planet by paying 5p for each of their plastic bags from October 20. Why was this simple solution not discovered before?
Malcolm Parkin, Kinnesswood, Kinross