The report about the Highland Council Development Plan to accommodate 30,000 people east of Inverness in preferred locations along the A96 corridor makes disquieting reading. Here again the emphasis seems to be on roads, with upgrading of these likely to be given a priority.

Where is the environmentally sustainable transport policy?

What about the rail links? There is no mention about the "intercity" route between Inverness and Aberdeen. This is in sore need of investment, for example in passing loops and signalling systems, to provide the opportunity for a fast, frequent service between the two cities to lure people away from the A96 and from reliance on cars. At present, the railway appears to be caught in a time warp and one might speculate on how such a route serving so many centres - Nairn, Forres, Elgin, Keith, Huntly and Inverurie - would be operated were it in continental western Europe.

Dr I A Glen, 21 Monks Road, Airdrie.

Your report on the decision to build a second Forth road bridge claimed that "opposition parties were broadly supportive of the decision, but demanded more details on how it will be paid for" (Green light for £4.2bn Forth bridge, December 20). I can assure you that Greens are entirely unsupportive of this decision, which is both expensive and unnecessary.

This initial cost estimate will surely rise, as government construction projects tend to do, but even if it were to remain at £4.2bn that would be exactly half what we spent on the entire NHS in Scotland last year. SNP ministers, like their Labour predecessors before them, love to claim they put "schools and hospitals" first, but this decision shows where their true priorities lie.

Greens, like everyone else, believe there must, of course, be a road bridge across the Forth, much as we would like to see traffic levels on it reduced and moved to rail where possible. However, ministers have not even considered the option of committing now to repairing the existing bridge, which Feta, the bridge's managers, conclude would entail "significant engineering challenges but is achievable". This decision is based on short-term politics, and it is likely to haunt the SNP for decades.

Patrick Harvie, Green Group MSP, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh.