Readers' letters: Keep e-scooters off Scotland’s roads

Transport minister Grant Shapps is to make e-scooters legal on roads saying trials were successful.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 7:00 am

Successful? Obviously he did not consult the public or listen to road safety groups and charities advocating for protection of people with sensory difficulties. He ignores that many towns and cities in England stopped the e-scooter trail after numerous complaints.

He ignores that ambulance call outs in England since January 2020 exceed 840 incidents involving e-scooters. This could be over 2000 since only a third of ambulance trusts provided data.

He has ignored the 11 deaths and thousands of injuries to pedestrians. He ignores that the London Fire Brigade has already attended 98 fires caused by the lithium batteries on e-scooters and e-bikes. London Transport has banned e-scooters from all its transport network. Criminals using e-scooters are running rings around the police.

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Grant Shapps must be held responsible for future deaths and injuries since the e-scooter brigade thinks that pavements and shopping malls are for their exclusive use and yet the police have done nothing.

The Scottish Government should declare that these lethal machines will never be allowed on Scottish roads and pavements. Now that would show independence.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow.

Passport Office sale threat an old tactic

Boris Johnson’s threat to sell off the Passport Office and DVLA due to backlogs created by Covid and years of budget cuts, is a classic move by ideological right-wing governments.

US Republicans have used the same tactic of first starving government departments of funding.

Then when those departments can’t deliver the services to which they were tasked because of this lack of resources, the political party in power shouts that government doesn’t work and the only solution is privatisation.

Clever, eh? Except transferring public assets into for-profit private hands that care only about increasing those profits and rewarding shareholders, results in more expensive and less efficient services.

We have an energy crisis because private companies are profiteering at the public’s considerable expense.

England’s waterways are filthy because private companies allow sewage dumping and won’t invest to clean them up.

Since privatisation, train and bus routes have been cut, especially to poor and rural areas, and fares have increased. And now we are seeing the same neoliberal tactic used against the NHS. Huge backlogs due to Covid, underinvestment and Brexit staff shortages are creating the perception that the NHS isn’t working.

Johnson’s solution? The private sector, which is the Conservative donor base and trough at which government ministers feed, is standing by ready to pounce.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Edinburgh.

Fuel for thought

When you come to vote on Thursday pause to think whether the politician you are about to vote for knows what a kilowatt hour is.

Do they have any idea that every lump of coal or litre of gas, petrol or diesel, once burnt causes thousands of times as much global warming due to the carbon dioxide produced?

Consider who will try to recover any of the many millions of pounds the oil companies have been getting as generous subsidies over decades.

Ask if the party you are going to to put a cross against is not jumping on the 'green bandwagon', while imprisoning protesters for telling it to do what should have been done years ago.

Henryk Belda, Penicuik.

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