Letters: Connections to airport can help city fly higher

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IT is good news that a new coach service has been launched between Edinburgh Airport and Glasgow’s Buchanan bus station (News, July 2).

This will encourage more people from the west of the country to fly from Edinburgh on their holidays or business trips.

Scotland is a relatively small country so it makes sense to have one main airport that serves air traffic for most of the country, and Edinburgh Airport, sited west of the capital city, is less than 40 miles from Glasgow’s city centre.

What’s more, the option of regular bus travel will gradually help the environment, as motorists opt to leave the car in the driveway and board the bus instead.

When travellers compare the price of a bus ticket to the cost of fuel and parking charges at the airport for the duration of their trip, it will not really be a difficult decision for them to make.

The tram line will connect the airport to Edinburgh when it is finished and will enhance the city’s image as a modern, forward-thinking Capital, although I must say that I will have fond memories of the airport buses from Waverley Bridge being one of the first stages of my holidays abroad on many occasions.

It’s just a pity that the EARL project was stopped in its tracks by the SNP when they came to power, as that would have helped make Edinburgh Airport the country’s air transport hub, thus putting Edinburgh truly at the centre of things.

I know there were concerns about cost, but if we want to be ambitious and lift Edinburgh into the superleague of top European travel and business destinations, then it is time to think big and see money spent on transport inter-connectivity as an investment.

Ken Welsh, Easter Road, Edinburgh

MPs’ rise should be same as others

At a time of savage public sector cuts, the idea of members of our prime public service scrambling for a large salary increase is nauseating, especially with their cheating on expenses far from forgotten.

However, the putative justification for it – to attract a “better class” of candidate – is appallingly clumsy.

This comparison can apply only to sitting MPs, or to use another analogy, the monkeys presently earning supposed peanuts. Any improved pay would then reasonably apply only to new MPs.

What would qualify applicants for inclusion in the “superior” category? Eton/Oxbridge background, perhaps?

As to who would judge candidates suitable, that must remain in the control of local constituency parties: after all, the prime duty of any member should be promotion of his constituents’ welfare.

The distinguishing mark of democracy is that those governing do not award themselves privileges over those governed: MPs should be awarded the same rise as other public sector workers, not a penny more.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent

Honour writer with a proper bridge name

AFTER a naming contest in which I expect not very many people voted, it has been decided to title the new Forth bridge the Queensferry Crossing. How desperately dull and lacking in imagination that name is.

As the bridge has not even been built yet, there is no reason this humdrum name cannot be changed to something more interesting and meaningful.

Why not name the new bridge in honour of one of Scotland’s greatest writers, a man who lived not far from the intended site of the new construction? You could do a lot worse then the Iain Banks Bridge for a title for the structure.

Norman Wilson, Willowbrae, Edinburgh

Don’t treat patients as customers, NHS

WHAT a sign of the times it is that hospital bosses have been referring to patients as “customers” (News, July 2).

The NHS has been gradually changing from public service it was set up as to a private sector way of thinking, and this sort of language only underlines that.

What a pity the NHS cannot go back to the principles it was founded upon, with patient care at the centre of everything.

Or maybe customers is a more appropriate name after all as it seems that the way things are going under the Tories, it is only so long before the NHS, once the envy of the world’s other nations, does become part of the private sector.

William Marshall, Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh

Perfect award for a talented musician

CONGRATULATIONS to singer and musician Eddi Reader, who was handed an honorary degree by Edinburgh University (News, June 29).

Glasgow-born Eddi received the degree of doctor of music at the McEwan Hall in recognition of her contribution to Scottish musical heritage.

It’s a pleasure to hear Eddi singing and also listening to her music.

No doubt Eddi’s honour has got to be perfect.

June Fleming, Hercus Loan, Musselburgh

You don’t need a bike to be a menace

Cyclists are not the only menaces on the pavements. Recently I have found it necessary to change the time at which I go to the newsagent’s.

On certain days three women walk down the pavement in line across. If I meet them I have two choices: step into the road or a driveway or allow them to walk into me. They appear to be totally oblivious to the fact that they are causing a problem to others.

Margaret Mavor, Craiglockhart