PLEASE, let’s not forget Glasgow is hosting the COP26 summit on climate change in November. Let’s get our priorities right ("Train fares from Scotland up to 70% more expensive than flying", The Herald, July 14).

Your first example of the difference between rail and air fares is a trip to Bournemouth – who wants to go there anyway? And then the revelation it’s seven pounds – yes, seven pounds – more expensive for a London to Edinburgh flight? How much extra does it cost to get to the airport for the majority of people … and what about all that extra time checking in and checking out? I’d much rather be relaxing on the train with glorious views of the Scottish and English countryside.

And Birmingham to Newquay? That really is the joke – 10 hours longer for the return journey by train and almost three times the cost.

There’s no doubt rail tickets can be extortionate at times – especially last-minute ones for emergencies like funerals – but let the train take the strain every time. Lyrics to the fabulous tune Take the A Train by Billy Strayhorn were apparently added by Joya Sherrill from Detroit in 1944 – discovered while googling on a train journey from Glasgow Argyll Street to Dalmuir.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.


THE Prime Minister is keen for the United Kingdom to co-host the World Cup in 2030 with Ireland. A great prospect, but there is a problem. Normally the host country receives automatic entry, but it seems unlikely Fifa would allow England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to all enter individually.

It has always been an anomaly that the component parts of the United Kingdom compete at international football as separate entities.

There is a solution. It is time for the United Kingdom to compete at international football as one nation. It would be a world-beating team and who knows, together, we may even be the winners next time.

Dr Bruce Halliday, Dumfries.


I FEEL it is unsatisfactory that such a major tournament as the Euros was decided by a modern version of the old “three and in”. Sport has lost out to sponsorship by big business which demands a clear-cut finish at a set time for broadcasting and the like. That is why we have lost the old-fashioned way of settling a draw, namely a replay. Much fairer, as it reflects the whole picture of the game.

Before you say “but penalties are part of the game” consider the following. After a tie in a major golf tournament would you decide it by a putting competition? And putting is a more integral part of the game of golf than penalties are in football. Or after a dead heat in a 100 metres sprint would you decide the winner by the best of three sprint starts over 10 metres?

Sport was the loser, not England. Even a game of headie tennis would be closer to reflecting the team nature of the game and that would be laughed out of court.

Time to take sport back from the theatre and time constraints demanded by the money of big business sponsors.

With modern technology, communications and online ticket technology it should not be difficult to re-arrange the fixture for four days later, giving the players the required recovery time.

Ian Tomney, Glasgow.


WE read in Tuesdays edition about teaching our children well. Manners were the topic ("Children should learn old-fashioned manners", The Herald, July 13).

We know children soak up the world as they grow, indeed that early years are the most formative. Yet, while correctness requires 50/50 female to male ratios everywhere in life, we have seen primary school teacher ratios of 90/10, and early years’ practitioners’ ratios of 95/5 in the last few years, with never a mention of an issue.

Male influence in early years may thus be scant for many children, especially where the father has left the scene.

Exodus reminds us to “honour thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee” Ch 20 v 12. That’s also 50/50.

David Hamilton, Largs.


I’M sorry to read that Peter Fraser from my home town of Aberdeen is cross about the use of the word “across” on BBC Radio Scotland (Letters, July 14). Other correspondents have written recently to express their annoyance with particular ways people speak or write. I urge them to adopt a zen-like calm and accept the fact that language varies and changes. As long as what someone says or writes is readily intelligible, then it’s generally OK.

In yesterday’s Herald, we had crowds in Cuba “protesting food shortages”; in my younger days, you protested against something. And teams used to be defeated by their opponents, but now they’re defeated to them; some teams more than others, of course.

There are plenty of politicians who, when asked a question, reply in perfect English; but at the end of their answer, you have absolutely no idea what they actually meant. Give me clarity any day, even if it’s delivered in less than perfect vintage prose.

Doug Maughan, Dunblane.


CYCLING along the country roads, serenaded by the plentiful birds, racing the frisky hares, I realised that the fly tippers had become more sleekit. As the road led through a corridor of shady beech trees, bits of unwanted furniture were hidden behind each trunk.

Allan McDougall, Neilston.

Read more: Over-hyped football is bringing out the worst in so many