Readers' letters: Sheriffhall road plan is decades out of date
At the end of this month objectors will have the opportunity to challenge the project to build a £120 million interchange at Sheriffhall (2018 cost).
As one of many people who submitted an objection, it seems to me that the proposal is ten-20 years-old thinking, at a time when we are at last beginning to wake up to the serious reality of climate crisis.
One of the crucial points against this expensive new build is that more road capacity has shown to lead to more vehicles on the roads, when government targets are to reduce car usage by 20-30 per cent by 2030.
What is even more worrying about the proposal is that while it may or may not free up traffic flow at Sheriffhall, there will be increased congestion further on the A720 and the A7 into the city without massive additional roadbuilding.
A far better use of precious capital resources would be to improve public transport and active travel opportunities.
It remains to be seen whether the public Inquiry will support a project promoted by those thirled to roadbuilding or whether the need for carbon reduction will be recognised.
Russell McLarty, Tranent
Let’s install self-cleansing bollards
A few years ago the City of Edinburgh Council installed cycle lanes on the main streets of the city.
A very commendable action ensuring that cyclists could travel in safety through the streets without fear of being knocked down by passing motorists. These lanes are marked by plastic tubular bollards set in a substantial base of concrete.
During the recent wintry weather the streets have been awash with grit and salt, which is now being kicked up as spray by passing motorists, coating the bollards with black dirt.
This has made the black and white colours on the bollards very difficult to pick out in semi-darkness in the evenings or in fog.
Is it possible to install self cleansing bollards (likely an impossibility) or to have them cleaned on a regular basis? If this is not done, then I fear that there will be an accident on a dark night.
Sandy Macpherson, Edinburgh
Time to be open about tax payments
There is considerable public debate in the wake of the Nadhim Zahawi affair, concerning incomes and the tax that some people may or may not pay.
This is especially important when governments plead they are too poor to pay proper wages to public sector workers such as health and education. As is often the case it is worth noting the Scandinavian examples.
Every October, the annual tax returns of Norwegian citizens are posted online on the Norwegian Tax Administration’s official website, and anyone can go and have a look.
While individual incomes may not be published, the tax paid is publicly recorded on government websites so everyone can see that everyone else is contributing to public welfare.
This has been the case for over a hundred years, so long before Norway had North Sea oil.
Tax offices in Sweden and Finland have variations along similar lines.
Norman Lockhart, Innerleithen
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