Look east for answer to the Forth puzzle
Regardless of which crossing were to be adopted it would simply mean an increase in the number of vehicles crossing the Forth and disgorging traffic into roads, creating even worse congestion on both north and south sides of the river.
I would have thought that a crossing by tunnel should be considered to the east of Edinburgh, taking pressure not only off the present bridge but also improving traffic flow on the city bypass.
Traffic using the A1 and also emanating from the east side of the city would be attracted to this crossing if it was between say the Seafield area to Kinghorn or Kirkcaldy area.
The reduction in travelling time going up the east coast to and from Dundee and Aberdeen would be a much better solution to the present problem and financially attractive regardless of the initial installation costs, expensive as they might be.
Stewart Greig, Boswall Green, Edinburgh
Driving up wrong road over traffic
TONY BLAIR'S intention to explain why 1,570,000 people were "mistaken" in signing the anti-road charging petition petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax is as deceitful as his argument that the only way to improve congestion is to introduce road charging.
I realise that road charging has the irresistible attraction to a failing government that, the more they fail to deliver an efficient road system, the more they can charge us for using it. If only they could extend this principle to all of government!
But he doesn't like to tell us that it is EU policy to introduce pan-European road charging and that slavish adherence to European policy requires his government to press on with it. Yet Austria has opted out to avoid damage to its economy. The tax that can be raised by the charge is certainly a major incentive, as is the opportunity of such a system to his freak control government eager to monitor the movements of the electorate.
His argument that "this is the only way to reduce congestion" is also deceitful - I have come across a 2005 Department for Transport booklet called Urban Safety Management Guidelines which advises local authorities on road management and appears to be essentially a blueprint for creating traffic jams. It gives lessons in creating gridlock and was highlighted in this week's Autocar magazine, which called it a 'Self fulfilling congestion cash cow'.
This booklet and our own experience of Edinburgh's street narrowing, road closure and superfluous bus lanes also seem to be in conflict with the Traffic Management Act of 2004 which places a duty on local traffic authorities to manage their network to secure the expeditious flow of traffic, and to take action which will contribute to securing avoidance, elimination or reduction of congestion. The apparent contradiction is just hypocrisy.
And the prediction that congestion will increase in coming years? How can that be when the population is both ageing and reducing overall? Just how many vehicles do they think a person can drive at once?
Is it simply that we can't trust this government in anything?
Bruce Young, Lothian Co-ordinator, Association of British Drivers, Main Street, West Linton
Here's a passport to ID freedom
AS the local co-ordinator for campaigning group NO2ID, I consider that it is vitally important that readers should become aware of how the Identity and Passport Service is planning to use its new interview centre in Haymarket Terrace. Within a matter of weeks new adult passport applicants, including Edinburgh teens as young as 16, will be forced to travel to the centre for an intrusive face-to-face "interview".
Unfortunately, the interview procedure, which sounds more like an interrogation, will involve extensive questioning, such as about home addresses for the last few years, family details, education records, etc. Leaked Home Office documents describe these interviews as "intrusive", and admit that they will slow down the passport application process from ten days to six weeks.
Although the Home Office tries to claim that this new process is to improve passport security, it is clear that it is just the next step in the Government's attempt to introduce its controversial compulsory ID card scheme. Today it is just young adults who will be sent for interrogation, but soon everyone renewing their passport will be forced to go to Haymarket Terrace to be questioned and fingerprinted for an ID card.
Fortunately, it is still possible to bypass all of this pointless and expensive bureaucracy if you apply for your passport now, and certainly before April. Everyone over 16 should therefore as a matter of urgency apply for their new passport or a renewal. And note that you can apply for a renewal at any time, regardless of how long your passport still has to run.
Dr John Welford, Boat Green, Canonmills, Edinburgh
SNP were depicted as untrustworthy
I AM an admirer of Ian Swanson. I think he is an excellent journalist and I was therefore a little disappointed to read his column about the SNP's flagship policy of a referendum on Scottish independence.
Whoever the SNP anonymous source is that Swanson quotes he must be aware that he is doing the party no favours with his suggestion that the SNP might renege on their commitment to a referendum. I therefore doubt this unnamed individual's genuine commitment to the Scottish independence cause. Who does this idea benefit? Only the SNP's adversaries in the Scottish parliament.
It is unfortunate that our politicians are amongst the most mistrusted individuals around.
To a certain extent of course they have only themselves to blame. However, by making speculations like this and suggesting that the SNP would betray their supporters in this fashion, effectively the Evening News is encouraging the public to view the SNP as untrustworthy before they have even tasted government!
Joe Middleton, Wardieburn Place South, Edinburgh
What planet does leader come from?
COUNCILLOR Ewan Aitken's letter in Your views (February 16) must have come in an envelope postmarked from Mars.
As a lifelong Edinburgher I can remember that a cross-city journey would take 20 to 25 minutes, thus the auld adage that Edinburgh was the largest village in Europe.
Margo MacDonald's claim that some of the city's facilities are "disgusting" should be looked at in the light of Mr Aitken's proud boast about the quality of life in the city, but for whom?
The current administration has spent millions on failed transport "initiatives" and more again on removing perfectly good roundabouts and replacing them with traffic lights complete with bus priority facilities.
For that, read buses that have a transmitter on board to change the lights in their favour in order that those using the things can get to their chosen facility quicker even if it is closed/condemned.
Just how many new/upgraded schools and sport facilities could the city have for the money spent on all this rubbish?
Not that it matters as your child will still be waiting at admissions as there are no nurses, they all have new jobs at hospitals where they can park and finish their shift with a reasonable hope that their car has not been ticketed or towed away, and they can spend the hundred quid saved on parking to help buy a house in a place they can afford.
John Byrn, Seventh Street Newtongrange (I have escaped Auld Reekie)
Mix-up in a city known for villages
THE article in the Evening News on February 13 entitled "Protesters demand an end to 50-year-old Capital eyesore" wrongly places the Dean Free Church in the Dean (Water of Leith) Village, which it most certainly is not. It does, however, come within the Dean Conservation Area.
For the record, as no doubt you are well aware, the true Dean Village was at the top of Dean Path - basically now Belgrave Mews/Dean Church and cemeteries area and the now-called Dean Village was until the late 60s properly the Water of Leith Village.
The postal address of the tannery was until it closed in the 60s - Damside, Water of Leith, Edinburgh EH4.
H Legget, Sundrum Place, Kilwinning, North Ayrshire