AS both a motorist and a cyclist, I feel we should quell the hysteria regarding registration of bicycles ("Should cyclists be forced to have registration plates?", The Herald, August 22, and Letters, August 24 & 25).

We should remember we are in the middle of two emergencies: a climate emergency and a cost of living emergency.

Encouraging more people to use cycles instead of cars can help address the first. As the cost of fuel increases, more people may turn to cycling as a means of getting from A to B at no cost. We don’t want to cut them off from this cheaper mode of transport. So cycling can help address the second.

And yet we are clamouring for regulations on cycling that will discourage it.

Registration is not the answer. What of the casual cyclist? Will they have to register a cycle they barely use? What if someone borrows a cycle? Will they be insured to ride it? What if you own more than one cycle (like myself, where two of these cycles spend most of their time in the garage)? Are you going to be burdened with the cost of registering all of them?

The noise surrounding the registration of bicycles diverts us from the real problem. Our roads are car-centric and need to be made safer for pedestrians and cyclists so that all can coexist safely.

I recognise cyclists could do their bit. I am frustrated at the cyclists I see (often serious road cyclists) who insist on wearing black clothing. (I am also frustrated at pedestrians who can barely be seen at night for the same reason). High-vis clothing should be encouraged. I believe every bike should have a bell so that they can give warning to pedestrians (although that doesn’t legislate for pedestrians who listen to music on the move which makes them more susceptible to stumbling into an accident). Other, sensible, measures can be encouraged.

Let’s get this into perspective. In an average year, cars kill 100 times more pedestrians than bicycles. So, please let’s have a sensible discussion that does not discourage cycling at a time we should be encouraging it.

As a postscript, if I needed any further motivation to write, I got it last night during my daily cycle to keep myself fit and thus relieve pressure on our health service. Whilst wearing my high-vis top as usual, I was almost run over by a Range Rover whose driver ignored the fact I had clearly signalled a right turn which they had seen and, 25 yards from that turn, decided to overtake me whilst narrowly missing me and oncoming traffic. Had it hit me, my cycle ride would have been counter-productive and I would have been burdening further the A&E department at Forth Valley. So cyclists are not the only problem. All road users need better education, have greater awareness of others and, most of all, we need better designed, safer roads.

William Thomson, Denny.


NEIL Mackay ("Edinburgh shames Glasgow as it goes big on trams while subway stagnates", The Herald, August 25) gives an eloquent account of the Glasgow Subway system as he envisages it and bemoans the failed studies and aspirations of past years to better the system that have never come to pass. It is the uniqueness of its track gauge and its "stupidly small tunnels" as he describes them that bars any present-day extension of the system in like manner. At its inception in the 1890s it was ideal for the purpose but, granted, is now somewhat restricted in scope and coverage.

The years noted when there were plans to extend the Subway also had, in the main, similar improvements to the overall rail system and although certain proposals did eventually come to fruition in respect of the latter, it was the overweening desire of the City Fathers, particularly in the mid-20th century, to have the motor car declared the victor with the consequent road and motorway building that duly followed.

Nevertheless, the Subway has had rebuilding work, modernisation and new trains over past decades of more recent memory particularly under the authority of the then Strathclyde Passenger Transport body taking place, for example, from the 1970s into the first years of the new millennium.

Rejuvenation is still, happily, to the fore or is imminent with new trains currently on order and new signalling systems installed.

The overall betterment of public transport for Glasgow and its immediate environs lies above ground with a tram or light rail system utilising both road and brought back to life sections of abandoned or otherwise little used rail track.

John Macnab, Falkirk.

• AS a frequent user and photographer of the Glasgow Subway (not the tube or Clockwork Orange please), I share Neil Mackay’s frustration over the lack of its development, especially when you see cities like London endlessly expanding their Underground system, spending billions and using innovative techniques to connect the city.

For me, the stagnation of the Glasgow Subway is best summed up in a 1964 quote by ERL Fitzpayne, the general manager of Glasgow Corporation Transport, who said: “It must be with some shame that the present generation realise that the vision of their forefathers was not shared by subsequent generations and that an up-to-date metropolitan underground railway system has not been evolved for the city.”

Stuart Neville, Clydebank.


OBVIOUSLY it is no big deal given the mayhem which surrounds us on all sides at the moment, but the suggestion that the Beatles reached number one in the charts with Love Me Do ("That was the year that was: the moments of high drama that defined 1962", The Herald, August 25) is simply wrong (number 17?). In fact, they didn't even reach number one with Please, Please Me, my all-time favourite Beatles single (number two). The honour of the band having their first three singles reaching number one went to Gerry and the Pacemakers.

Interestingly (or not) the next band to achieve that also came from Liverpool and were Frankie Goes To Hollywood.

Iain Ramsden, Paisley.


MAY I suggest to Eric Begbie (Letters, August 25) that if Murray Watt (Letters, August 24) had forgotten to take a pencil to school, Mr Watt might simply have been sent to the cupboard for one? Or he might have been told to take one from the cupboard.

Still no need for the word "get".

David Miller, Milngavie.


MURRAY Watt’s recollection of the rubric “I do not want to hear the word...” reminded me of the exchange:

“I don’t want to hear you using that word again.”

“Geoffrey Chaucer uses it.”

“Well you’re not to play with him any more.”

Robin Dow, Rothesay.