IS all our transport money to be spent on the A9 and A96?

Doug Marr says in one breath that roads, not drivers, are dangerous and then in the next that it's difficult to conform to the 60mph speed limit and drivers are braking when they see a speed camera van ("Dualling is essential to end A9 and A96 carnage", The Herald, November 21). So drivers are exceeding the speed limit, which is there for a purpose, and exceeding the speed limit is dangerous. As a civil engineer, I have done some road design during my career and speed limits are not there to penalise drivers but to keep them safe on the curvature and topography of the road.

I don't know about him but I passed my car driving test in the last century, before the advent of mandatory seat belts, before mobile phones, before advance cycle boxes at traffic lights, before changes in priority at junctions and before the significant increase in motorways and dual carriageways. Since then, the only mandatory test I have had was for a motorbike, which I also passed last century. How many people are in a similar position and have not been tested on their driving for years and decades?

People are being killed and injured on our roads every week and yet little, if anything, is being done about it. Very few people have driving licences taken off them when found guilty of a misdemeanour and even fewer have to resit a test before getting their licence back.

Doug Marr blames the Green Party, of which I'm not a member by the way, who would, quite rightly in my opinion, want far more money to be spent on our railways, which are poor in the north-east. Sadly, he and other motorists have only themselves to blame. If they all were to drive by the rules and put forward proposals to ensure more re-testing to ensure higher standards of driving we and they would all be much safer when we are out and about.
Patricia Fort, Glasgow

Don't stall deposit return scheme

THE claim that the deposit return scheme could "result in some companies stopping selling their goods in Scotland" is clearly absurd ("Scottish Government urged to keep deposit return scheme on track", The Herald, November 21).

Are we to believe that drinks vendors will turn their back on a market of five and half million thirsty consumers worth £15 billion a year – not to mention abandoning their investment in warehousing, transport and personnel – just because of a supposed increase in paperwork?

But even if some firms did withdraw from the Scottish market, that wouldn't in itself change the demand for soft or alcoholic drinks here. It would just mean that other – perhaps more efficient – companies would step in and fill the gap. The effect on the Scottish economy would be neutral.

The deposit return scheme has already been delayed once. The Scottish Government should not let it happen again.
Mike Lewis, Edinburgh

Diesel ban will hit us all

THE EU has decided to ban Russian oil imports completely from the end of this year and diesel imports from the start of 2023. At the moment Russia still supplies about 40 per cent of Europe's diesel needs. The EU elite wants to damage Russia, but it is also damaging commerce and industry across the Continent. Already there is a tanker shortage at sea, because tankers have to load in Asia and the United States, and because many are being used as floating storage in the expectation that the shortage in supply will cause prices to soar.

Diesel fuel is essential to transport goods, quarry minerals, plough the land, and act as a back-up fuel in the event of power outages. Already prices are nearing record highs and will go further when the ban kicks in. In the worst case there will be shortages and rationing may be necessary. Is it not time serious moves were made to bring a ceasefire to the Ukraine war and try to negotiate a settlement instead of allowing the killing and destruction to continue for years contributing to a global slump?
William Loneskie, Lauder

Miners slur is a disgrace

WHAT a disgraceful statement by 90-year-old Lady Glenconner when promoting her latest tell-all book about the Royal Family on today's ITV This Morning show (November 21).

Talking about the domestic violence in her own marriage and in general she said: "One expects this of a miner or someone like that beating up his wife but it happens everywhere."

This is a prime example of the jaundiced view the privileged classes have of the working class and she should be made to apologise publicly on air.
Dorothy Connor, Glasgow

Parliamo Neapolitan?

I WAS profoundly surprised to discover that "Neopolitan" is being taught in Scotland ("Scots academic in bid to save stigmatised Neapolitan language", heraldscotland, November 19). As a proud Italian I respect the history and traditions of all the regions of Italy that help make the country such a fascinating and incredible place. However, Neopolitan is not a language like Gaelic but a dialect.

In Italy local dialects are not stigmatised at all, in fact local traditions are often protected by national and regional laws. However these dialects are not permitted to be taught, and rightly so. As much as I love Glaswegian I would not expect it to be taught in schools in Glasgow.
Beppe Conte, Glasgow

Thanks for Pele but I'm out now

I ALWAYS enjoyed Hugh MacDonald’s reports and column when he was a regular writer on The Herald and it was good to read his reminisces of the World Cup in 1970 and Brazil in particular ("How Edson Arantes do Nascimento stole my heart from my front room", World Cup supplement, The Herald, November 19).

Like Hugh I was 15 at the time and for a young Orcadian, even the names of the players, Tostao, Jairzinho et al, exuded sheer glamour and almost another-worldliness. But by heck, could they play; thanks Hugh for your description of their combination of skill and competitiveness.

Somehow the graininess of the colour TV picture back then added to the element of mystique that the event had to me. The world was a much bigger place to me in 1970; many of my friends hadn’t been to mainland Scotland.

Another difference was the absence of communal viewing of matches be it in pubs or at outdoor public venues. Well, it was that way in Kirkwall. Just myself and my dad, mum hadn’t got into football at that point. Nice memories, just like watching Celtic win the European Cup three years earlier.

A sincere thank you for the memories, Hugh, enjoy November 24 and Brazil's first match with your family. But I won’t be joining you I’m afraid, the World Cup in Qatar is a step too far for me.
Willie Towers, Alford


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