I WAS not surprised by your article in which we find that a number of Glasgow’s art experts who care for its cultural treasures are facing redundancy (“Leading academics raise alarm at cuts threat to city’s museums”, The Herald, November 2).

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life Museums is quoted as stating that they “need to save £ 1.5m from the museums service this year".

I have the solution. The city should abandon much of the overly ambitious £115 million Avenues initiative, or at least the George Square aspect of it. I feel that the proposals for George Square amount to municipal vandalism. The consultation, as is the modern way, shows no convincing metropolitan leadership but rather is acquiescing to what the public want: bread and circuses. This gives the people behind the initiative a great excuse for whom to blame in the future.

I consider that the statuary in the square, which the city council proposes removing (except for maybe a couple of items to be repositioned) is what gives the city centre a sense of gravitas, grandeur and a reminder that you are in what was considered the second city of the empire. As the council documents rightly illustrates, the square is comparable in size with many well-known ones in the world.

I consider that Glasgow deserves better in its city centre environment than to be driven constantly towards bland modern mediocrity.

Bill Brown, Milngavie.

Read more: Glasgow Airport needs a rail link or it will be left behind

Why there are no window grants

WITH regard to your article about millions of windows needing to be replaced ("Millions of windows need replaced to reach net zero", The Herald, November 2), there is a reason why the Scottish Government only offers an interest-free loan when changing from single glazing to double glazing and why no genuine grants are available to replace single or double-glazed windows and the reason is simple.

According to the Energy Saving Trust changing from single glazing to A++ double glazing will typically save up to £170 per year and at an installation cost of about £8,000 will result in a payback period of 47 years to recover the cost of installing them. It is highly unlikely that the new windows will last that long and they will require to be replaced again well before enough savings are realised to pay for the cost.

These savings are for changing from single glazing to double glazing so you should expect the payback period of changing from double glazing to new double glazing to be significantly longer.

This is purely a financial assessment and obviously there are positive advantages in having efficient double glazing but saving money against the installation cost is not one of them. Most people will choose to install new double glazing primarily for aesthetic and comfort reasons.

Other energy efficiency measures available are more cost-effective at reducing heat loss and that is why the assistance available favours them.

Efficient energy-efficient windows can always be considered but an awareness of other more cost-effective measures providing better savings is required.

Iain McIntyre, Sauchie.

Why we must expand FoI

EARLIER this year I raised the issue with my MSP about how the algorithm of ScotRail's app, website and ticketing machines fails to offer travellers the cheapest ticket for their journey. This is not the place to go into how ScotRail's customers are effectively lied to everyday about the cheapest fare for their journey, but I'm hopeful that my findings will inform the forthcoming Fair Fares Review.

The way ScotRail's electronic machines work is a result of deliberate choice. At some point in their development somebody, or some body, made decisions about what questions would be asked at the user interface, and what results would be returned. I wanted to find out who made these decisions, and how they were made.

The current ScotRail website has the minutes of board meetings dating back to June 2022 when it was nationalised. I submitted a Freedom of Information request for the minutes dating back to the time of the app's development in 2010-11. The reply was more than disappointing. Because Scotland’s train service was at that time run by a private company, in this case First Group, ScotRail informed me that it did not hold these minutes. Even though First Group was receiving millions of pounds of public money to run a public service, it was not, and still is not, subject to the full public scrutiny of FOI. I'd come to the end of a line.

So it was heartening to read Caroline Ewart's piece on FOISA reform, ("Whatsapp row shows it’s clear law on freedom of information needs reform", The Herald, November 3). She is absolutely right that private and third sectors should be subject to FoI when they are delivering public services, and services of a public nature such as care homes. However, I have little faith that the Stalinist tendencies of this secretive Holyrood administration can be overcome to reform the current system. I can only hope that potential future administrations make explicit manifesto commitments to reforming the current unsatisfactory arrangement. Private companies who receive public funding should be subject to the public's gaze. It is our money, and if private companies want the right to spend it, they should be duty bound to be transparent about how they do it.

Graeme Arnott, Stewarton.

Read more: E-bike riders in cycle lanes are scary - but the work is hard

Scapegoating cyclists is unfair

I APPRECIATE e-bike couriers can be/are a nuisance and in no way support any illegal and careless actions ("E-bike couriers scare me yet I’m on their side. Here’s why", The Herald, November 3) but let’s get things into perspective.

It is motor vehicles that are the big issue, motor vehicles that cause by far (very far) the deaths and injuries on the roads and cyclists and pedestrians that are the most vulnerable. I ride bikes for leisure, mostly off-road. Even though I do moderately difficult stuff with body armour by far the most dangerous parts of my rides are when I’m on the road. When an artic passes you at less than the prescribed distance you certainly know about it.

Matters have improved slightly since the revised Highway Code but by no means enough. Of course some cyclists and e-bike couriers don’t always ride well but, by and large, it is their own lives they are putting at risk. And it is not just cyclists who run red lights.

More must be done in driver (and cyclist) education and attitudes, in the separation of motor vehicles from cyclists and cyclists from pedestrians.

Angus MacEachran, Aberdeen.