Letters: A new broom should sweep clean for Leith Walk traders

I READ the report about Leith Walk being the dirtiest street in Scotland (News, August 14). It astonished me that the shop owners complained when they could do a great deal to make Leith Walk cleaner and more presentable.

Why don’t they sweep the immediate area outside their shops at least once a day?

The transformation would be immense and shoppers would be made to feel that the retailers really cared.

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They moan and groan instead of getting out the brooms. A lazy lot who deserve the boycott.

Charles Quinn, Belhaven Terrace, Edinburgh

Rail travellers not ‘better together’

SCOTTISH Labour’s shadow infrastructure secretary Richard Baker has selective amnesia as Labour raised rail fares by 66 per cent in cash terms between 1997 and 2010 and introduced the above RPI formula annual increase in 2004, (News, August 15).

As a result the UK has the most expensive railway network in Europe. Encouraged by this, the Westminster Tory / Lib Dem coalition are increasing fares by three per cent over RPI for the next two years.

Scottish rail passengers are not “better together” when Labour and Tories get together, and they should be grateful that the Scottish Government has refused to copy the Draconian increases being applied south of the Border.

Calum Stewart, Montague Street, Edinburgh

Move not fare for private hire cars

I HAVE been a private hire driver for many years and read that Network Rail is only going to allow so many Hackney cabs into Waverley station.

I would like to know what Network Rail is going to do about disabled people who use private hire vehicles to get to the station. This seems like discrimination against disabled people and private hire 

Stewart Schofield, Craigmillar Castle Avenue, Edinburgh

Simple enough for Puerto Rico

David Fiddimore (Letters, August 15) asks what is wrong with his proposed referendum questions.

His use of the word separate is pejorative and the question should be: “Should Scotland become a normal independent country?”

A simple yes/no to independence question is my preference but as Westminster cannot be trusted to deliver on a vague promise as happened in 1979, someone has to spell out exactly what is meant by a more powers question.

This is not confusing as some claim as Puerto Rico is holding a multi-choice referendum on statehood, independence or continuance of the status quo on November 6.

Mary Thomas, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

Colonies not just bricks and mortar

A DEVELOPMENT is to be “modelled” on Edinburgh’s colonies (News 14 August).

As a long-term colony resident I could not agree more that it is an example worth following – giving the density needed for a modern urban village, but also meeting aspirations for modest gardens.

But the colonies are much more than a built form. Their origins lie in a fairly radical form of mutualism. Although the colonies have long since been sold into individual ownership, the degree of social interaction remaining is what marks them out as unique.

So the challenge for Edinburgh is not simply to ape some of the design of yesteryear, but to seek to rediscover co-operative forms of developing and running homes which reject the roulette wheel of house price speculation which has disfigured the housing market for 20 years or more.

Gavin Corbett, councillor for Fountainbridge/Craiglockhart

Mystery of UFO solved .. or is it?

You ask if John Alison has found the answer to Robert Taylor’s UFO report from Livingston (News, August 13).

In short – no! The water reservoir dome, which he thinks was the object seen, lies in the opposite direction to that in which Mr Taylor was looking. Nor did Taylor suffer a Transient Ischaemic Attack; he suffered an epileptic attack. I investigated the report at the time; see full details in my book The UFO Mystery Solved.

Steuart Campbell, Dovecot Loan, Edinburgh