Letters: Time to be bold and get on our bikes for healthy living

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I am getting angry at the SNP government’s willingness to spend millions on grandiose bridges and roads when for really quite small amounts of money, a tiny fraction of the transport budget, walking and cycling could be encouraged and significant strides made in tackling climate change.

The amount this government spends on cycling and walking is pitiful and looks set to decrease. If we all cycled and walked as often as they do in Denmark or Holland, where they spend a small but significant part of their transport budget on these healthy, low-impact ways of getting around, we’d be well on our way to meeting our climate change targets.

I welcome the questions even SNP MSPs have raised about these issues but see no signs of our Scottish government matching its manifesto rhetoric with concerted action (ie spending) to really do something about climate change from the pavement and cycle path upwards. Money would be saved long-term as the health benefits of an active population are widely accepted, and could be achieved relatively cheaply if Scots had walking and cycling infrastructure.

It really is this simple!

Alex Salmond asks Scots to be bold and grasp the opportunity of independence. I’m up for that.

I ask him in return to be bold and make those changes costing a few million which will address climate change head on, make Scots healthier and make Scotland a more pleasant place to live and travel, now and in the future.

Malcolm Bruce, Grigor Gardens, Edinburgh

Don’t let Labour into power again

HOUSEHOLDERS face a steep rise in council tax bills if Labour wins the next election. The Labour party’s new leader will be announced this week, but all three candidates have promised to scrap the council tax freeze.

The SNP has done everything in its limited powers to keep money in the pockets of the people of Scotland.

We can’t let Labour run Scotland again. Labour told us no more boom and bust, and we all know what happened – bust.

Jim Hill, Stenhouse Avenue, Edinburgh

Veto is means of avoiding a poll

I DON’T know why David Cameron is being praised for rejecting the proposals put to him by those numpties Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel.

If David Cameron had agreed to those proposals, it would definitely have forced him into giving a referendum on the EU.

He only used protecting his London pals as an excuse to duck out of giving us a referendum that otherwise would have been inevitable.

Alan Lough, Dunbar

Storms can’t keep the crowds away

ALTHOUGH stormy and dangerous weather seems to be the norm at the moment, it’s little wonder Princes Street is once again attracting the crowds.

It’s a bonus that throughout the festive season there will be no traffic or trams work to contend with, but add to that the many festive attractions, Christmas lights and decorations and you have a rather enchanting experience and spectacle.

You’d have to be a bit of a miserable person not to take some cheer from the colourful and cheerful sights and sounds if nothing else.

Angus McGregor, Albion Road, Edinburgh

Big thanks to all charity’s backers

CHILDREN’S Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) would like to send out a big thank-you to you and all your readers who have supported CHAS this year. CHAS is a charity that provides the only hospice services in Scotland for children and young people with life-shortening conditions.

This Christmas CHAS will reach out and help children and families from right across Scotland. And, our wonderful CHAS at Home team will provide dedicated care to children and families throughout Scotland.

Christmas is a magical time and at CHAS, we know that the best gift we can give is loving care and attention so that families and children have great memories and can enjoy their time together just like any other family during the festive season.

So, we’d like to say a big thank-you to all our volunteers, supporters and staff.

And remember, if you’d like to know more about CHAS visit www.chas.org.uk

Maria McGill, CHAS chief executive, Craiglockhart Avenue, Edinburgh