Readers' letters: E-scooter law good for the environment

In the Queen’s Speech on May 10, there was some good news for fans of electric scooters. The use of privately owned e-scooters on public roads looks set to be made legal under the new transport bill.

This is great news for those of us who are desperate to join the transport revolution and move to a cleaner, greener and more fun mode of travel.

Here at Skootz, we have long campaigned for e-scooters to be made legal for use on public roads. Our cities are becoming increasingly congested, parking spaces are hard to find and that is before we even mention the increasing cost of fuel and environmental issues!

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Over the last few years, there has been much more awareness on environmental issues. Globally, vehicles account for around a quarter of CO2 emissions. Car exhausts also release carbon monoxide which is damaging to human health and the planet.

We’re not saying ‘ban all cars’ but we could all cut our use, do our bit for the environment, cut congestion and save money and commuting time. We believe that e-scooters are an important addition to transportation in the UK and that legalising them and using them lawfully also helps to address any safety concerns.

We welcome the government’s willingness to legislate on e-scooters and look forward to seeing the conclusions and recommendations in the transport bill.

Mr Mark Bain, Skootz, Edinburgh.

Avoid disease, leave animals in peace

As Portugal, Spain, the United States and the UK have now confirmed outbreaks of monkeypox, it’s high time we acknowledged that continuing to mistreat animals risks triggering the next global pandemic.

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There has been a tenfold increase in human cases of monkeypox since the 1970s, and a report in February warned that the threat from it should “not be underestimated”.

Snatching animals from their natural homes, confining them to filthy cages in unnaturally close proximity at markets or on farms and eating them will lead to more zoonotic diseases like monkeypox, with unpredictable mutations and potentially deadly outcomes.

Monkeypox was first seen outside Africa in 2003, when it spread to humans from exotic animals exported to be kept as pets.

It can also be caught by eating animals infected with the virus. Around three-quarters of recently emerged infectious diseases in humans, including SARS, swine flu, and Covid-19, were transferred from other species.

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Humans must act fast to prevent the next pandemic – which would bring more death, disease, and disruption to our daily lives – and we can start by leaving animals in peace.

It’s time we all played our part in moving towards a safer future by eating only healthy and nutritious plant-based food.

Jennifer White, PETA Foundation. London N1

Yes vote should need a two thirds majority

I hope former Tory MSP Prof Adam Tomkins is wrong when he says a second referendum would result in a Yes vote. However, a close Yes result vote with about half the voters against independence would be more than unsatisfactory; it could cause extreme bitterness and strife.

The only way to hold a meaningful and acceptable result is to require a two-thirds majority for change. After all, the SNP could not change their own constitution without such a majority. What's good enough for them is surely good enough for Scotland.

Steuart Campbell, Edinburgh.

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