Letter: Hot solutions

Amid all the political backbiting that has taken place over the recent adverse weather, I have two practical suggestions to put forward that may be considered by the authorities.

Firstly, the major gridlock which occurred two weeks ago was caused for the most part by accidents blocking the roads. A number of these accidents were caused by jackknifed articulated vehicles.

I have been travelling on the motorways in the past couple of days and have been appalled at the speed of these vehicles in what can only be described as dangerous conditions. Accidents are inevitable at such speeds.

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This can be solved simply by imposing a sensible speed limit when conditions are dangerous - better traffic moving at a restricted speed than gridlock.

Secondly, a longer term proposal. The cost of the disruption to the Scottish economy has been suggested at around 2 billion and will undoubtedly rise before the end of winter. There are innovative methods which are currently under development for heated road surfaces, powered by stored solar or ground source energy.

Could this be considered for our major lines of communication such as motorways and trunk roads, leaving gritters to deal with secondary roads? This may sound too big an idea for our politicians to grasp, but if we are to face severe winters such as we are now experiencing, surely the costs can be justified against the severe loss and disruption suffered.

Douglas Johnston

Drumbrae Place


Peter Jones (Comment, 21 December) has penned an intelligent and insightful snapshot of the current chaos in our transport system from his personal experiences.

But, like most other present-day commentators on the subject, he doesn't stand back and look at the major change that mass commuting has brought to our society and our transport systems over fewer than 40 years.

Providing the infrastructure for mass commuting by a relatively small proportion of the populace now costs the taxpayer billions of pounds annually at the best of times.

During unfavourable weather conditions this self-indulgent practice turns a problem into a catastrophe. Mass commuting was a temporary phenomenon brought about by a combination of cheap fuel, artificially high incomes and a modern transport system.

It is now strangling the nation and should be taxed to restore some kind of equilibrium.

Irvine Inglis



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I AM intrigued by the notion that we have the right to be able to travel to the furthest corners of the globe regardless of the weather, and if we cannot it is somebody's fault.

Clearly many believe the infantile nonsense that we can control climate change and are infuriated when nature once again demonstrates our arrogance and our impotence.

And, of course, local authorities are also influenced by Met Office baloney and anyone advocating more gritters in the autumn would have been branded a "denier".So why don't we just take this opportunity to settle somewhere cosy, give the stressful family Christmas nightmare a miss, and wait for the snow to go away.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews

Iain Gray, Annabel Goldie and Tavish Scott are all decent people so I am anticipating a joint apology to Stewart Stevenson for all the nasty things they said about him.

And then a request to the First Minister to reinstate him. The only logical alternative is the mass resignation of most of the transport ministers of Western Europe on account of their joint failure to control the weather.

Colin Whimster

The Shore

Aberdour, Fife