Letters: Cyclists must learn rules if they want respect

Cyclists should never ride more than two abreast. 'Picture: Ian Rutherford
Cyclists should never ride more than two abreast. 'Picture: Ian Rutherford
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At about 12.15pm on Saturday, September 20 I was walking east along Millhill, Musselburgh and a number of groups of cyclists passed me going in the other direction.

The first two groups were properly organised and disciplined. The third, a group of about ten, were a disgrace to the name of cycling. No two abreast for them, they were in complete disorder with the worst offenders in the middle of the road.

I am sure every group belonged to a cycling club and I think I heard the expression “cycle-cross” used, suggesting they w ere returning from a cross country event.

There is much said and written these days about other road users not showing respect for cyclists. Such behaviour by cyclists as I have illustrated does not encourage this. Cyclists need to play their part too.

My father was founder member of Musselburgh Roads Cycling Club in 1936. He used to quip: “There are cyclists and then there are folk on bikes”. Draw your own conclusions as to his meaning.

Bill Nicolson, Windsor Park, Musselburgh, East Lothian

Salmond’s extravagance is conveniently ignored

Now that the referendum is over, as an Edinburgh Evening News reader I feel obliged to comment on some of your articles. I read with interest each week what your columnists have to say. It seems to me that two out of the five have used the Evening News as a Scottish nationalist propaganda forum.

Martin Hannan and Jim Sillars never fail to use any opportunity to bad mouth and belittle the unionist party leaders. Their style of writing is all about how unionism is bad and how Scottish nationalism is good. Not a whisper about the shortcomings of their ex-leader Alex Salmond, who as we all know, never knowingly answered a straight question properly, and has been known to shout his way through awkward questioning.

Were they happy about their ex-leader swanning off to the last Ryder Cup, allegedly taking his own chefs with him, staying in the best hotels, and living the good life at a cost of around £40,000 at the taxpayers’ expense? When Alex Salmond talked about food banks and deprivation in Scotland (only in Scotland?) I wonder if he reflected on how he enjoyed himself on his free trip to the last Ryder Cup in the USA? How many food banks would that trip have funded?

On the subject of food banks and other social welfare matters, why did the nationalist government not use their existing powers to raise funds to try and alleviate the problem in Scotland, rather than blaming everything on Westminster? Is that not worth a mention from our SNP journalists?

Can I implore Messer’s Hannan and Sillars to “clean up their act” and take into account that all readers of their articles pay for the privilege and are not all SNP hacks like themselves.

Bob Marshall, Gilmerton Road, Edinburgh

Cameron should beware of reneging on promise

David Cameron is an expert at breaking promises and then having the brass neck to carry on as if nothing has happened.

But if he reneges on the promise he has made to the people of Scotland he will deserve everything he gets and his political career will never recover from it. By the time the people of Britain are finished with him he’ll be lucky if he can get a job selling second hand duds at a car boot sale.

Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar, East Lothian

Letting fee ban hasn’t pushed rents up

Regarding an article on Edinburgh rental prices published in the Evening News (September 22), I dispute the assertion made by Gordon Fowlis of Your Move that increased rents have been caused by the 2012 clarification of the law that letting agent fees are illegal in Scotland.

When this claim was first made last month we said then that it was bogus and little more than an assumption that rents must have risen due to the clarification of the law by the Scottish Government.

Two pieces of research carried out for us earlier this year by highly reputable estate agent and letting agent Rettie and Co and by BDRC showed there is no evidence that rents had risen simply due to the clarification of fees. It also said that landlords in Scotland were no more likely to have increased rents since 2012 than landlords elsewhere in the UK.

The majority (59 per cent) of letting agency managers interviewed for our research said that the clarification in the law on fees had had “no impact” on their business. As the article pointed out, rents are now higher than ever before. While some landlords and agents in the private rented sector may benefit from this, the reality is that it makes it even harder for people on lower incomes to find and keep a home they can afford.

At least as a result of the ban on fees, people struggling to afford private rented accommodation in Edinburgh now don’t have the added extra burden of having to pay hundreds of pounds worth of illegal fees up front.

Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh

I will miss indy advice from US-based actors

I am so sad the referendum is over.

I am going to miss the actors who are registered American citizens and taxpayers coming over here to tell us how to vote. Maybe Brian Cox, Irvine Welsh and Alan Cumming can fly over to Catalonia and tell them how to vote now?

I will also miss the actor Martin Compston coming up from London to tell us that London is sucking the lifeblood out of Scotland.

Anyway, we Scots took our decision and must now get back together and avoid bitterness – and foreign-based luvvies.

Thomas McCafferty, Drumbrae South, Edinburgh