A selection of readers’ letters on the Waverley vehicle ban, the Falklands, and apprenticeships.
The decision to ban vehicles from Waverley Station was made in England and may be acted upon despite the Scottish Government’s stated aim to have joined-up, easy public transport.
So, it is the last major station to allow vehicles in; a Scottish victory for common sense!
Are there any other stations so deep underground with such difficult access if the passenger does not have a vehicle? I cannot think of one.
Just how would the disabled, families with children, the elderly, people with cases and shopping, manage to leave the station if lifts and escalators are not working and a crowded train or two comes in? There are no porters, and taxi drivers would not be there.
This scheme will solve nothing because there are many ways to carry and detonate a bomb. The traffic in Market Street and Waverley Bridge would be impossible; it is almost so now.
The council tax payers of this city must not pay for the street alterations; Network Rail must be told that vehicles will continue to go into the station.
Ann Stewart, West Pilton Grove Edinburgh
Falklands’ rights are better by far
IT is intriguing to note Prime Minister Cameron’s attitude to a referendum on the political status of the Falkland Islands, especially when contrasted with the holding of a referendum on Scottish independence. The Falkland Islands Government has announced its intention to hold a referendum in the first half of 2013 to reaffirm the fact that the islanders wish to remain British.
The decision to hold such a vote was taken by the Falkland Islands Government, not the UK Government, and Mr Cameron has stated that it is up to the Falkland Islanders themselves to choose whether they want to remain British and “the world should listen to their views”.
While one is in total agreement with this stance, it is interesting to note that the Falkland Islands are to be allowed to make a decision on their political future without the interference of the UK Government, but the Scottish Government is to be allowed to hold a referendum on its political future only on terms set by Westminster.
There is a strange hypocrisy that the Falkland Islands Government, 8000 miles away, is to be allowed to decide its own political future by the UK Government, but when it comes to Scotland the UK Government seems to be operating by a totally different set of rules.
Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh
A chance for us to lead by example
CONSTRUCTION firm Balfour Beatty has spoken out on the issue of apprenticeships, calling for more robust clauses in public construction contracts to ensure young people are able to complete their training.
It’s one of the reasons why the construction industry has been campaigning so hard for the systematic inclusion of community benefit clauses in public contracts.
These would recognise the creation of sustainable local training and employment opportunities as a key criterion for selecting a contractor.
The public sector has a real opportunity here to lead by example and maximise added value to local communities by engaging companies to carry out public works that are committed to maximising the benefits of public investment to those communities by supporting jobs and creating sustainable apprenticeship opportunities for the people who live there.
Despite the impacts of the recession, it’s worth remembering that the construction industry remains the backbone of Scotland’s apprenticeship system, offering thousands of young Scots high-quality training opportunities. It’s time we hardwired these benefits into the public procurement system and I look forward to the rapid introduction of new legislation promised by the Scottish Government that will address this issue directly.
Michael Levack, Chief Executive, Scottish Building Federation, Crichton’s Close, Holyrood, Edinburgh
Where will we find the energy?
AFTER Alex Salmond has shut down all our power stations and has massacred every spare inch of our land with useless, expensive wind turbines that only operate depending on the weather, where is all our energy going to come from?
Alan Lough, Boroughdales, Dunbar