Letters: Clean buses set a shining example other cities envy

I MADE a visit to Edinburgh on Sunday and I was hard pressed to spot any Lothian Buses vehicle which was seriously dirty.

By contrast many other buses were carrying the accumulated dirt of many trips on salted roads. So you had Lothian's cheerful colours, or a grey/black coating that rubbed off on your coat if you brushed up against the bus as you got on or off.

Checking this with a regular bus user, she commented that on a recent trip to Ocean Terminal the driver appealed for old newspapers to be laid out on the floor to soak up the small lake of melted slush, so he could clean the bus before the return trip, and another refused to move off, until a fitter and younger passenger let a frail old lady sit down on his full and standing bus.

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If only the Lothian style could be exported to other places.

Dave Holladay, Glasgow

Banks can teach schools ID lesson

SCHOOLS are considered to be places of enlightenment. So it is disappointing to see some of them behaving so foolishly by engaging in the widespread fingerprinting of their pupils ("'Trivial' use of electronic ID in schools triggers row", News, December 28).

Such 'biometric' technologies are expensive, intrusive, inaccurate and insecure, and they should be used only when absolutely necessary and with great caution.

Fingerprinting has obviously been of great forensic value to the police for many years. However, it is totally inappropriate for routine use by pupils in schools.

Schools should take particular notice of how the banks routinely carry out electronic authorisation, for example at ATM cash machines. They use no kind of biometric technology whatsoever, but instead opt for the very simple, reliable and cheap-to-operate four numeric digit PIN number.

And they have an excellent reason for doing this. Should a customer find that his or her PIN number has been compromised and is being used by others then it is a very simple task to obtain a new PIN number and so immediately resolve the problem.

By contrast, each person has only one set of fingerprints, and should these ever become compromised, then there is no solution and no way back. We are stuck with our one set of fingerprints, and they will now remain compromised for ever, with criminals and others being free to use them.

So schools, do learn from the banks, and abandon any further use of this most inappropriate technology.

Dr John Welford, Boat Green, Edinburgh

Some services posted missing

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THE city's streets have been awash with shoppers spending millions.

But was there a post office or bank open for their share of the high street business? No.

Both these organisations must pull their socks up if they wish to remain in the high street because their present attitude is far from friendly.

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh

Check both sides of the argument

HAVING labelled me a "denier" (Interactive, December 28), Mick Geggus will be shaken to learn that initially I accepted the global warming theory. I seem to differ from him in investigating both sides, however.

A simple internet search will reveal my "non-existent" thousands of dissenting scientists; numerous press and TV reports have exposed distorted evidence, cheating and downright lies in man-made climate change arguments.

The "threatened" polar bear population is actually thriving: the world's lowest-lying country - the Maldive Islands - stubbornly refuses to sink beneath "rising" sea levels; Al Gore's apocalyptic book An Inconvenient Truth is strewn with falsities; CO2 increases have been shown to come before periods of warming.

Mr Geggus ignores my reference to the futility of UK efforts to reduce supposed pollution: our principal competitors overseas have not the slightest intention of following suit.

Robert Dow, Ormiston Road, Tranent