Norwegian ferries are held up as an example for Scotland by Dave McEwan Hill as an alternative to the Rest and be Thankful road link (Letters, August 6).

However, Norway itself provides a much better example if we want a modern and convenient transport system in Scotland.

Over the last couple of decades Norway has cut 700 km of tunnels at a cost of under £5 million per km. If this is technically possible on that side of the North Sea, it is here too. Indeed a Norwegian company offered to cut one tunnel between the Shetland mainland and Yell for a quoted price of £23m.

The Scottish Tunnel Project is a proposal to cut about 160 km of tunnels across Scotland. Gourock-Dunoon via Rothsay and across Loch Fyne to Kintyre would make that peninsula less than an hour's drive from Glasgow and provide an alternative route to Oban.

Other proposed tunnels would link to Islay, Jura, Arran, Lewis, Mull, Orkney, Isle of Man and Northern Ireland, with two under the Forth and a Tay estuary tunnel.

Together these would cost about £800m: less in total than the cost of buying and running four ferries for three decades. And less than one-third of the cost of one new Forth bridge. This would revolutionise Scotland's transport system, as it has revolutionised Norway's and helped it become the second wealthiest country in the world after Singapore.

This has been adopted by UKIP Scotland as the sort of progressive economic policy Scotland needs. It has also been put to all the Scottish parliamentarians who may even endorse it some day.

Neil Craig,

200 Woodlands Road,


Following the opprobrium heaped on slow-moving lorry drivers in the wake of recent tragic events on the A9, I would like to share the following incidents I witnessed on that road over the weekend.

On Saturday, between Inverness and Drumochter I saw an elderly gent with cloth cap driving a bright orange vintage tractor (very slowly) southwards as part of a charity fundraising event. He was accompanied by an entourage of support vehicles worthy of a Tour de France team. On my return journey south, I again saw him, not much further on.

On the northbound carriageway at Bankfoot I witnessed a group of charity cyclists apparently making painfully slow progress up the separated gradient followed by one of their support vehicles brightly proclaiming a fundraiser in aid of a brain cancer charity.

This vehicle was fitted with flashing amber rooflights and was blocking the road to prevent other vehicles from overtaking the group. Behind them was a full mile of stationary traffic, cars, caravans, long distance coaches and lorries.

On Sunday, I again saw the tractor, this time at Ballinluig resolutely chugging south, oblivious to the hold-up.

While the fundraising effort of these people is very laudable, is there any need for them to do it on the A9 which is arguably the most dangerous road in the country?

A keen cyclist assures me it is possible to ride from Inverness to the Borders by cycle path with the exception of a small section near Ballinluig. Large portions of the old road remain in public use and would be far more suitable for this kind of thing.

Bearing in mind that Saturday also saw an SPL fixture in Dingwall and the Belladrum music festival taking place, both producing additional traffic, should there not be a requirement to get police permission for such journeys?

David Russell,

71 Charles Street,