Readers' Letters: Rail dispute buck stops with Sturgeon

The current line regarding the Scottish Government’s responsibilities with regard to the ScotRail negotiations, no doubt fed to it by its army of spin doctors to enable it to distance itself somehow from the proceedings, is totally disingenuous.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 7:00 am

Nicola Sturgeon and Jenny Gilruth, the Transport Minister, tell us whenever interviewed about the dispute that they are not involved in the negotiations, are “not in the room”, but urge ScotRail and the unions to get round the table.

Let me draw an analogy between the Scottish Government and a corporation with several companies. I worked for one such company in the construction sector. We had a Group Board (the Cabinet), a Chairman (First Minister), and Directors (ministers) each responsible for a company within the group. We had construction, mining, housebuilding and commercial developments. The director in charge of each was hands-on and accountable for the success or failure of his company. ScotRail is a nationalised company wholly owned by the Scottish Government. Its employees, including its management, are public service employees paid for by the Scottish taxpayers. CalMac and Ferguson Marine are also in public ownership.

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The deadlock in the ScotRail drivers pay dispute continues

If Ms Gilruth really feels she has no remit to involve herself in the current running of these companies which are vital to the people and economy of Scotland perhaps Holyrood should dispense with the post of Transport Minister and save the taxpayers the £106,000 salary and the costs of a chauffeur-driven limousine. Come to think of it, why stop there? There are several other departments that are requiring close scrutiny.

Donald Lewis, East Lothian

E-scooter dangers

Mark Bain is full of praise for e-scooters. (Letters, 23 May) Of course he is since he owns an e-scooter shop in Easter Road.

He fails to mention that, so far, e-scooters have caused 11 deaths and more than 2,000 injuries in the UK.

Our inept politicians have also ignored the well-documented fire risk of the lithium batteries on e-scooters.

The London Fire Brigade has attended 98 fires caused by the lithium batteries on e-scooters and e-bikes already this year. London Transport quickly banned e-scooters from all its transport network so why is ScotRail still only "reviewing" its policies instead of banning these lethal machines?

E-scooters, suitable for road use, will cost between £800 and well over £1,500 so they should pay to use the roads.

However, based on the e-scooter trial in England most riders seemed to prefer pavements and shopping malls so pedestrians had better put on crash helmets and body armour and carry a fire-extinguisher since a swarm of e-scooters is coming their way.

Clark Cross, Linlithgow, West Lothian

Dock points for fans’ pitch invasions

I am not a football fan but having seen highlights of Rangers versus Hearts and the English Premiership’s decisive matches can I make a suggestion?

At Hampden there was no pitch invasion, assisted no doubt by a double ring of security personnel. Down south, perhaps such a precaution was seen as too expensive.

If in the case of a pitch invasion, the teams were automatically docked two points if any fans are arrested or seen on the pitch with their team colours displayed.

This would stop invasions overnight. In Manchester City's case it would have cost them the league title!

Jim Watson, East Lothian

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