THAT passenger numbers for ScotRail are falling ("ScotRail passenger numbers fall 91%", The Herald, December 1), especially in the west of Scotland Tier 4 areas, is not surprising, given that travel outside these areas is banned, but I rather doubt this is reflected in the number of motorists who continue to throng our roads, whether they are travelling inside or outside of their respective areas. Excepting for a relatively short period of time at the onset of the Covid crisis when a marked drop was noticeable, it has returned to the high levels and subsequent emission-emitting as before.

Public transport, principally bus and rail travel, has suffered greatly with any intending passengers effectively warned off, being told it is unsafe to travel by these means. I rather feel that private motoring has not had any such misgivings or warnings given at any juncture vis-a-vis that which has been levelled at public modes of transport. Post-Covid, will passenger use return on buses, trains or ferries for that matter? I harbour fears for the eventual outcome.

John Macnab, Falkirk.

GEOFF Moore’s letter (December 1) on battery storage sends a timely warning. Last year, four of us travelled to Liverpool in an electric car for our annual golf outing. We got from East Kilbride to Shap Services before we had to stop to recharge the batteries. Not for the five minutes it takes to fill with petrol or diesel, but for nearly an hour. I am only glad we were not travelling to London. On the way back, our driver had to disappear for an afternoon to find a charging point (10 miles away) so that we could get back to Shap for the next charge.

And this week comes the news that an electric car must travel 50,000 miles before its carbon footprint is less than a petrol or diesel car.

I totally agree that serious measures must be taken to combat climate change, but my current diesel vehicle emits no nitrous oxide, only inert nitrogen and water vapour, and has a converter to deal with carbon emissions. It is cleaner than most petrol vehicles. If the embarrassment in No 10 has his way, and petrol/diesel cars are banned by 2030, I only hope that battery technology and charging efficiency will have vastly improved by then.

Mind you, I will probably be too old to drive, if I survive that long.

John NE Rankin, Bridge of Allan.

IT seems that all recent and new home charge units for electric vehicles have to be "smart" – that is, capable of being switched off remotely by the electricity supplier when overall demand cannot be met. This would indicate that EV owners may not be able to recharge their vehicle when required.

Why are we being forced through an expensive interim period of electric vehicles when reliable electricity supply is reducing rapidly – why don't we go straight to a horse and carriage?

GM Lindsay, Kinross.