Letters: Looks like we’ve missed fast train to a better system

I have no big problem with the Scottish Government’s decision (“Key rail link hits the buffers”, News, July 5) to retain the current four trains per hour each way between Edinburgh and Glasgow via Falkirk High (rather than increase this number to six).

But I very much regret the abandonment of the planned Dalmeny chord and Winchburgh flyover, whose construction would have allowed trains to/from the west to serve the proposed train/tram interchange at Gogar (Edinburgh Gateway) – as well as facilitating a possible station at Winchburgh itself.

Interchange with the tram will still be possible at Edinburgh Park for those travelling to/from Glasgow, Stirling and points north – but the transport minister’s announcement means that the operational flexibility which the Dalmeny chord and Winchburgh flyover would have afforded will no longer be available.

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This is especially disappointing given that these elements of the Edinburgh Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) compensated to some degree for the cancellation by the Scottish Government in 2007 of the Edinburgh Airport Rail Link (EARL) which would, more beneficially, have provided (via a station at Edinburgh Airport) direct links between the Glasgow and Fife lines to the west of the capital.

If EARL is now long dead, EGIP is now a pale shadow of what was promised.

Lawrence Marshall, chair

Capital Rail Action group, King’s Road, Portobello


Water way to run a public entity

In June the Institute of Civil Engineers in Scotland said that compulsory metering of our water usage should be introduced to cut consumption.

I said at that time that this would mean that the directors of Scottish Water would get even higher salaries, bonuses and gold-plated pensions. I was, therefore, not surprised to read that five directors at publicly-owned Scottish Water were handed inflation-busting bonuses last year.

What is unforgivable is that the Scottish Government agreed to the obviously easily achievable bonus structure and signed off the payments.

Clark Cross, Springfield Road, Linlithgow

Councils getting priorities sorted

I AM delighted to hear that, as of last week, Midlothian Council has joined at least 14 other local authorities in meeting Scotland’s landmark 2012 commitment on homelessness. (Council taking it duties seriously, Letters, July 5).

This is further evidence that local authorities are responding to our calls to develop progressive homelessness policies and practices and we hope that those yet to meet the 2012 commitment will soon follow Midlothian’s example.

Graeme Brown, Director, Shelter Scotland, South Charlotte Street, Edinburgh

Trust the people with fair question

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Alex Orr is right to highlight the hypocrisy of the Tories calling for a Scottish referendum “sooner rather than later”, whilst postponing a EU referendum to an unknown date with an unknown question (Letters, July 5).

In fact, it makes great sense to have a fair referendum on leaving the EU first, as it is only after that issue is settled that we will be able to see the implications of separation.

If the UK votes to leave the EU, then a Scottish separation referendum will effectively be a choice between being part of the UK or part of the EU.

If on the other hand, the UK were to vote to remain in the EU, then the consequences of Scottish separation would be very different.

The political class should trust the people with a fair vote and a fair question on a fixed date.

Otto Inglis, Inveralmond Grove, Edinburgh

Thugs have taken over on the buses

We have all been on a bus with thugs upstairs drinking alcohol, swearing and shouting and playing loud music, with their feet on the seats while the driver and other passengers turn a blind eye.

Why? We have lost and the thugs have won because there is absolutely no deterrent in what they do.

We are encouraged to use public transport, but certain routes are not safe.

Joan Donaldson, Liberton Drive, Edinburgh