Costly green car charges will drive many into the red

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THE announcement of the council seeking to increase charges for parking permits for larger cars (News, July 22) comes hot on the heels of the Government seeking to impose unfair and essentially retrospective hikes in vehicle excise duty.

Whatever your views on 4x4s and large sports cars, the reality is that many are to be found in Edinburgh's driveways and garages, and so the most likely parking permit loser is the ordinary large family workhorse, be it an estate or people carrier.

Parking fees and excise duty are taxes on ownership and not on usage. With the high cost of fuel, I suspect most families in the city will already be using a combination of foot, cycle and buses to get around the town with the use of the family car for trips further afield when they're all together or car sharing when transporting friend's children for common activities.

Raising the cost of ownership might influence future purchase decisions but when the car is already owned and it's resale value is decreased by the changes, these increases may indeed create more journeys as there may not be spare money for bus fares and other travel tickets.

I do hope the council is serious in its desire for consultation. Why not start by asking all those large car families already paying the charge how often and how much they use their cars and what would be the effect of the charges?

Alistair Marks, Queensferry Road, Edinburgh

Foreigners tune in as Jocks away

I WAS intrigued by your story "Major pipes up with a fanfare for Tattoo (Evening News, July 22).

Countries with acts taking part mentioned include India, Malawi, America, New Zealand, Canada and Nepal.

Whilst it is nice to see performers from other countries, also mentioned are a Lone Piper, The Territorials and the Massed Pipes and Drums. When you see the make-up of the Massed Pipes and Drums, try and count the "Jock" regiments.

We do not have the performers, military for this annual event now as the producer, Major General Euan Loudon, was responsible in pushing through the demise of our Scottish regiments' pipes and drums and military bands.

Major RCB Ritchie, MBE, Bloom Court, Livingston

We want real life, not costly fantasies

AT taxpayers' expense Mike Pringle has already put forward two proposals to introduce a further levy on the already tax-burdened and diminishing resources of the Scottish public (M&S bag tax boost for Pringle, News, July 22).

His first attempt, at a cost of 2 million to the Scottish taxpayer, was rejected in 2006, and his second attempt in March of this year, where he put forward his proposal, again at taxpayers expense, and a Statement of Reasons as to why he deemed further consultation unnecessary. His reasons were overwhelmingly rejected by the Rural Affairs and Environmental Committee.

Following that rejection his proposed Bill has subsequently "fallen" because he failed to lodge a consultation document within the required time limits.

Egomaniacs such as Mike Pringle should stop using and abusing taxpayers money and Parliamentary time with such gay abandon and arrogance, if he wishes to continue his pursuit of his ill-conceived Bill, should he not pay the costs from his own inflated salary and expenses.

The already heavily taxed and beleaguered public want politicians to deal with real issues and not fantasies.

Bill MacDonald, Staunton Rise, Livingston, West Lothian

Being pragmatic is best bus solution

I WAS refused entry to a Lothian bus on the grounds that I was travelling with a pram rather than a buggy, despite having made the trip to Corstorphine on a bus earlier in the day without comment from the driver – when did Lothian advertise this change in policy?

We were accommodated by a sympathetic bus driver when I explained that we would be more than happy to vacate the bus if a wheelchair needed the space – isn't that a more pragmatic approach?

What difference does it make in terms of the Disability Discrimination Act whether I am travelling on the bus with a pram or a buggy as long as the space is vacated when required?

Gillian Craigie, Murrayfield Road, Edinburgh

Rail link needs to have trams in place

SHIRLEY-ANNE SOMERVILLE uses her mouthpiece 'No need for trams as buses are just the ticket' to criticise trams (News, July 22).

It is, however, interesting to note that the SNP Government's Edinburgh Airport Rail link depends entirely upon there being a tram system in place. Otherwise it simply ends at Gogar roundabout!

Instead of politicising the issue, Ms Somerville should instead simply take the matter up with her Government's transport Minister, Stewart Stevenson, who had proposed the station at Gogar in order to provide an interchange with trams for onward travel to the airport.

Gavin Brown MSP, Member for the Lothians Region