Letters: Wallet hits the buffers on new service to Edinburgh

I AM sure that not too many people have realised that the cost of tickets at the new stations on the Airdrie-Bathgate rail link will be extortionate.

I was looking for info on timetables as I was really looking forward to catching the train locally – from Blackridge – for commuting into Edinburgh and couldn't find anything. So I tried booking a ticket for next week on the ScotRail site. A return ticket for the 35- minute journey is going to cost me 10.90 return, yet it's only 7.30 return from Bathgate.

Even more annoying is that the longer journey to Glasgow will be quite a bit cheaper at 8.20 return.

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ScotRail is asking a lot of the customer here, especially considering that the return ticket from Livingston is 7.10. So a 20p difference from Livingston to Bathgate, yet an extra 1.90 to/from Armadale, and another 1 from Armadale to/from Blackridge?

I really wasn't expecting the disproportionate fare increases. It's totally unfair on commuters.

Fifty pounds a week is a lot for me and I will be considering whether I will even want to use the new Blackridge station or continue driving and parking at Bathgate.

How awful ScotRail is for penalising those of us who live a little bit away from Bathgate.

Siobhan McNulty, Allison Gardens, Blackridge, West Lothian

Clearing streets begins at home

HAVING lived in both Moscow and New York City, where the weather every other year blows away anything we've seen here lately, I was struck by the inability or laziness of residents, store owners and large businesses to clear the pavements and paths in front of their locations.

If I am not mistaken, in the aforementioned metropolises there is a fine for not clearing it within 24 hours of the snowfall.

Fine or no fine, not that many individuals or groups in Scotland bothered to undertake the most simple act of community spirit that would have gone a long way to making things get back on track faster.

Colin Medlock, Edinburgh

Privatising policy is embarrassing

THE fact that the council intends to spend 3 million privatising rubbish collections and street cleaning is outrageous (Council's 3m step to private services, Evening News, December 10.)

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This SNP/Lib Dem council has set out to privatise everything it can, from home helps to Hogmanay. Is nothing safe?

When it comes to privatising rubbish collection and street cleaning services, I hope Jenny Dawe and her chums stop to think about the impact this will have on future attempts to clear the snow and grit pavements.

Will they lose the flexibility to redirect staff because of clauses in private contracts?

Or will it just cost the city thousands of pounds more to get private staff to undertake that work at times of emergency? What an embarrassment.

Kezia Dugdale, Whyte Place, Lower London Road

Don't let Lib Dems get off the hook

THE decision by student leaders to hold demonstrations on the day of the tuition fees vote has threatened to allow the guilty Liberal Democrat MPs to get away with their shocking betrayal of education.

The 80 per cent cut in budget for further education – made up by 9000-a-year tuition fees – will hugely damage education across the UK.

The cut in the Barnett Consequentials to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland means we will all be hit with this.

If only the 20 Lib Dems who abstained – as if we won't notice them – had voted against, the government would have lost and we could have started again on finding a solution that does not put off middle-income families from supporting their children going on to college and university.

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It also threatens the jobs of thousands of college and university staff.

I do hope the Liberal Democrats won't put any more manifesto leaflets through my door – the laughter it will raise will be deafening.

M Smythe, Dalry Road, Edinburgh