YET again we are presented with a “remodelling” of George Square, our most prominent gathering space ("Cafes and play areas ... images show how new George Square would look", The Herald, October 26, and Letters, October 27). I came to Glasgow in 1986 and according to the file which I keep on this subject, this is at least the fourth attempt to transform the Square. Into what exactly, I don’t think anyone has really given this proper thought. So much time has been wasted that we are overtaken by circumstances.

The obvious chance to remodel the Square, which is a ragbag of civic indecision if ever there was one, was missed in the period around 1990 when the city was the European Capital of Culture. There was real talk about transforming the Square, driven by the new buoyancy enjoyed by the city hosting the 1988 Garden Festival and the Year of Culture. The Council's Design and Architectural departments (remember them?) produced a bold scheme. This was considered too expensive at £8 million.

Then there was the removal of the green spaces to be replaced by the red tarmac we have to this day. There was a farcical attempt under Councillor Gordon Matheson’s leadership. There was a design competition (always a big favourite) that was cancelled and then a few quid was spent on the green spaces coming back, and now, well, I don’t really know.

I suggest that the powers that be go to Manchester where the city centre is transforming itself, admittedly at great cost, but the confidence is in stark contrast to the feebleness of my home town.

Move the Cenotaph to the beautiful Cathedral precinct so that the Cathedral and the Cenotaph can be forever linked on Remembrance Sunday. This would free up the view of the stunning façade of our City Chambers, probably the best in the UK. Take Walter Scott off his column and remove that too. What he’s doing in Glasgow in such an important position is an anomaly now. He has a terrific monument in Princes Street. Refurbish and rearrange the statues if you want, taking the opportunity to place Robert Burns in a more suitable place. Then the Square can become a proper gathering space and a world-class attraction.

It’s the lack of vision and faffing about across 30-plus years that is the real story here. The council was prepared to spend tens of millions, nay, hundreds of millions of pounds on big sporting events which just fade away, and yet it can’t produce a decent civic space. European City of Culture? We are miles behind, to coin a phrase.

Michael Dale, Glasgow.

Airport must have a rail link

THE fact that Glasgow is without a rail connection to the airport is nothing new ("Airlines put off Glasgow by lack of rail link, says tourism chief", The Herald, October 27).

Half a century ago, when in November 1973 I joined Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive, one of the projects of then director of planning (later director-general) Andrew McKay was that the modernisation plan for the Subway, begun in May the following year, should include direct connection to the airport.

I well recall a conversation with him in which he said: “The Underground can’t exist alone for ever. We have to break out of the circle.”

His two visions for the Subway were to branch off at Kelvinbridge and go via Kirklee to the old Maryhill Central Station (shelved because of civil engineering problems at Kelvinbridge), and to break out of the circle at Cessnock, then run overground to Abbotsinch for the airport.

Mr McKay proved a visionary, at one point leading the creation of 22 new or replacement stations in Glasgow. But no one continued his vision following his death in a car accident in Cheshire in 1979.

Airports such as Edinburgh, Manchester, Gatwick, Heathrow, Stansted and Birmingham have rail or tram connections inbuilt as part of rational infrastructure. Passengers on mainland Europe arriving in, say, Bergen, Berlin or Schipol (to name but three) are able to continue to city centres simply and comfortably.

If Glasgow aspires to be a European city (does it?) then a railed connection deserves to be as much a part of arriving and departing as boarding an actual aircraft.

Gordon Casely, Crathes.

Read more: Council should leave George Square alone and lower its charges instead

• THIS subject has waxed and waned with the regularity of the moon for a considerable time and is never short of proponents which, so far, has not prompted any meaningful developments.

Why cannot Prestwick International Airport be regarded as an ancillary perhaps of Glasgow Airport? Is it "too far" from Glasgow? It has excellent rail links already on the Glasgow-Ayr route although it may be problematical to deal with a dedicated service to and from Central Station.

This is not entirely unsurmountable. An extension of the proposed Metro or light rail system to and from wherever in the city centre and Glasgow Airport may, alternatively, be the answer but more likely an additional provision.

John Macnab, Falkirk.

Er yes, clear as mud

HAVING read the comments about Ivan McKee’s "sub-optimising silos" remark ("Progressive taxation needs to be much more than just a sound bite", The Herald. October 35, and Letters, October 26 & 27) can I add my tuppence worth?

I’ve spent over a year trying to get answers to a computer modelling report which looked into the risks from a cladding fire at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. The published report stated that a number of scenarios had been modelled but I could only find one. So I asked how many scenarios were actually modelled. I thought it was a simple enough question. I got the following reply.

“As stated in the report the input criteria, spatial organisation and ventilation requirements necessary to generate one theoretical fire scenario that could potentially lead to fire impingement on the cladding was included in the report. The ‘series of fire modelling’ was an iterative process of approximations to identify a possible scenario that could potentially lead to fire impingement on the cladding. The use of fire modelling and the interpretation of outputs has to include consideration of the inherent uncertainty in fire model algorithms and of the impact of uncertainties in input data assumptions. Fire modelling and fire modelling scenarios provide proxy outputs to inform fire safety and/or fire hazard/risk management decisions. The use of fire modelling and the interpretation of outputs is consequently dependant on the decision to be informed and not necessarily an attempt to predict the outcome(s) of ignition, fire growth and development and smoke spread for all potential fires in a given space or interconnected spaces.”

Translated that appears to say only one scenario was examined, albeit using a series of models. This is despite the report stating that “fire scenarios (plural) that involved the ignition of the ACM cladding from a room fire at QEUH were modelled”. I’m still confused.

Robert Menzies, Falkirk.