Letters: Warning puts a spoke in safety clampdown

Cyclist at Haymarket. Picture: Jane Barlow
Cyclist at Haymarket. Picture: Jane Barlow
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On Monday police launched a two-week road safety initiative to promote safer driving and cycling in Edinburgh city centre (your report, November 11).

There are two points I wish to take issue with.

Heart of Midlothian Haymarket memorial service. Pic: Comp

Heart of Midlothian Haymarket memorial service. Pic: Comp

Why did the police launch this with great publicity in all the press and TV? Now the drivers and cyclists have been alerted and will be on their best behaviour.

In the first week the focus will be on educating city centre road users and only in the second week will there be penalties when these should have been imposed from day one.

My gripe is with rogue cyclists who are never caught.

A Freedom of Information request covering Scotland revealed the following statistics.

In the last two years there were only 725 cycling offences recorded, an abysmal one per day.

Ignoring red lights was only 255 and incredibly only two cyclists in two years were fined for cycling on the pavement.

A few £500 fines would act as a warning to others.

Between 2005 and 2009 in the UK ten pedestrians were killed by cyclists and 262 seriously injured.

The police must act firmly not do a futile public relations exercise.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Stop the traffic for Remembrance Day

Along with many hundreds of others, I attended the Remembrance Day service at Haymarket on Sunday.

We were crammed on to a makeshift traffic island and on the pavements round the memorial while all the time traffic thundered past, inches from men, women and children.

At precisely 11am as the last post was being played, a double decker bus came down Morrison Street and stopped right at the monument, with its engine racing, rendering the bugle playing and the minute’s silence totally ineffective.

I believe it is time the city council, Heart of Midlothian Football Club and the police demanded that the traffic be stopped, for at least two minutes each side of 11am, as a mark of respect to our fallen heroes.

If London can stop traffic in Whitehall and Trafalgar Square, surely Edinburgh can get its act together and get this disgrace sorted out once and for all.

Ronnie Arthur, Craigmillar Hearts Supporters Club

Leaves in autumn are not difficult to predict

THE council has surpassed itself! November is notorious as a windy month and occurs annually. Wind together with the also annually recurrent autumn brings down . . . guess what? Yes, leaves.

How did the council plan, presumably months in advance, to NOT collect garden waste this week . . . leaving uncollected leaves for a whole month?

Does this make sense to anyone?

The refuse staff are excellent in my view . . . but management need to “have a word” with themselves.

Mike Watson, Duddingston Row, Edinburgh

I believe Edinburgh conducted itself well

IN the News there appeared a picture of an Edinburgh “clippie” on the last Corstorphine tram in 1954 (News, November 11).

At no time were the people who took the money and issued the tickets on Edinburgh buses and trams referred to as clippies, they were always conductors and conductresses. The word clippie was a Glasgow term for this job.

While on the subject of Edinburgh and Glasgow there is another term, increasingly being heard in reference to the public washhouses, which if my memory serves me correctly were still in use in the 1960s and possibly even later.

The term is “steamie” and it was a Glasgow word for these establishments, in Edinburgh and in my case Leith, they were always ‘washhouses’.

George McLeod, Leith

Complexities of the bedroom tax solved

Housing benefit is a rebate deducted from the rent that a tenant owes their landlord in return for him letting them a property.

What this rebate amounts to is determined by the tenant’s area council, taking account only of his or her financial circumstances.

If these warrant the tenant qualifying for a rebate, the rebate application by the council must be a legal requirement and therefore if a tenant is found to qualify for a rebate from the rent due for a house with two bedrooms, for instance, one of which was occupied by someone who’s moved out, this doesn’t necessarily alter the tenant’s financial circumstances.

So it would surely be unlawful for their council to discontinue applying the rebate as the number of occupied bedrooms in the property have no bearing on its legal determination.

Gordon Lothian, Restalrig Gardens, Edinburgh

We can always rely on higher fuel bills

just like clockwork every November for the past five years, I have had a letter from my energy supplier to tell me that my prices are going up.

Just as the clocks go back and the days get shorter and temperatures are plummeting.

At least Dick Turpin wore a mask.

Alan Lough, Dunbar, East Lothian