Pavement parking: a complex issue

I FIND myself in a curiously ambivalent position regarding Rose Harvie’s letter this morning (Pavement parking? Stick it to them, March 1).

On the one hand, I agree with her about the difficulties caused by pavement parking. While standing on the edge of the pavement, waiting to cross the road, I have been shouted at by drivers wanting to park in the space on the pavement I am occupying.

Our own street is a side street to Glasgow Road in Dumbarton, and when drivers pavement park on both sides of our junction, getting out safely can be a matter of good fortune more than good judgment, as traffic on the main road is only visible for the immediate few yards.

However, I am pretty certain that if any pavement-parking drivers were confronted with the difficulties they are causing others, their response would be “where else can I go?”, perhaps supplemented with “don’t I have a right to park close to where I live?”.

The answer to that last point is, of course, “no”, and could be countered by pointing out that they live within a couple of hundred yards of a railway station with regular trains from early in the morning until late at night, as well as a bus service that goes right by their door.

Nonetheless, they have a point. Where “do” they go?

Parking in our area is at a premium. Our own street is seldom empty of cars, and often is at capacity. The other two nearby streets are just as bad. In an attempt to secure their own parking space, some householders have turned their front garden into their own personal car park, which, obviously, no one dare park in front of. But, what do you do if you live in a tenement flat?

If they park on the road outside their tenement, then a “chokepoint” will be created on a main route through Dumbarton. The three streets to the north of them offer few alternatives, though the south side is a little better, but probably still inadequate, and besides there is pavement parking in these streets already.

My point, though, is not to defend pavement parking, which is a menace, but to point out that rendering it illegal could create as many other problems as it solves in the way of restricting traffic flow and perhaps even causing personal conflicts between neighbours.

I don’t pretend to have an answer, but I do know this problem is more complex than only making pavement parking illegal.

Alasdair Galloway Dumbarton

Missing the point on vaccinations

I THINK Neil Mackay missed the point in his three page article on vaccination (“Don’t mention the ‘V’ word,” March 1). He quoted numerous statistics and prophesised doom and extreme measures, and in so doing maintained the divide between those promoting vaccination and those concerned about aspects of it.

The missing link, I believe, is that parental concern was heightened by the administration of multiple vaccines at the same time, exemplified by the introduction of the MMR vaccine, and the claims by a few parents that their children changed overnight following their vaccination.

This concern was sidelined with implications that they are “bad” people with accusations of their disregard for community.

A much more positive approach would be to centre the discussion around education and the pros and cons of multiple vaccines compared to single-disease vaccination. Show that there are true benefits of multiple as opposed to single vaccines; be open about the costs to the NHS and the relative profits made by pharma companies.

Put forward a transparent and compelling case, and understanding and support will follow.

Iain Ross Lenzie

Labour leadership and Scotland

Your article concerning the support by senior Labour MSP Neil Findlay for a second independence referendum (Senior Labour MSP backs indyref2 if SNP win a majority, March 1) highlights the fact that of the three UK Labour Party leadership contenders it is only Rebecca Long-Bailey who hasn’t set her face against us having one.

Not only does Long-Bailey reject the continued possession of nuclear weapons and advocate meaningful tax increases for the wealthy – unlike rivals Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy – she also respects the right of the Scottish people to determine their nation’s constitutional destiny.

This leadership battle is therefore not only one about a political party’s future policy direction but also about a nation’s freedom to determine its own future. At least Rebecca Long-Bailey is prepared to give Scottish Labour members like me that freedom.

Korstiaan Allan


Humanity is all that really matters

It is quite clear now that the small-mindedness of the Brexiters is not viable in this globalised day and age.

Independence and sovereignty virtually belong to a bygone era. We now live in an interdependent world where the artificial land boundaries are sterile as well as porous.

Climate emergency does not respect borders. Coronavirus travels freely round the globe.

Refugees from impoverished and war-torn countries do not acknowledge border crossings in their search for the dignity of work and security.

In the light of such developments countries must put aside national egotisms to co-operate to produce workable international regulations and standards to protect our planet.

The time for nationalist posturing is over and differences must be sunk, and quickly, if our planet and our species are to remain viable.

Time is running out and every nation must look beyond narrow self-interest and focus instead on the general welfare of all peoples on this earth.

Our national identities must be subsumed under the overarching needs of humanity, since we share this planet and are supposed to be its stewards rather than its plunderers.

Unless we establish a new world order, survival on this planet will become even more perilous and


Denis Bruce Bishopbriggs

Is Rab talking rubbish?

I READ Rab McNeil’s page “Talking Rabbish” each week and sometimes I think it should be called “talking rubbish”. But then, last week, when he said he didn’t want to be a tree, it reminded me of the time I thought: “Wouldn’t it have been great if I had been born as a premier league football with a clear purpose in life rather than being born a human.”

But when I thought about it more deeply, I realised that I would be bored during the week lying about in a bag (though this may appeal to Rab). Then, on Saturday, euphoria would set in when I was carried on to the pitch with all cameras on me, only to spend the next 90 minutes being kicked. It was then I realised that being human is OK, and that Rab may actually be talking rabbish rather than rubbish after all.

Anyway, while I have your attention, what is that guy Alexander McKay from Edinburgh on?

Tom Cassells Ayr

Don’t dismiss these great characters

As society continued to sniff at the recent victory of Tyson “The Gypsy King” Fury over Deontay Wilder, it was refreshing to read Graeme McPherson’s profile of three-weight world boxing champion Duke McKenzie and his longstanding support for the mental health charity, Mind (Sport, March 1).

Duke does indeed “love to talk”. As a commentator on ring-craft, he has produced the wisest and wittiest lines of any sport. Approximately quoted, I cite just three.

On a bout between heavyweights Matt Skelton and Danny Williams: “The way Skelton’s conducting himself tonight, this bout should have been held in a pub car park,” and: “If I was the referee, I would make Skelton’s corner tie a third glove to his head.”

On one-time heavyweight contender Audley Harrison: “I don’t know why people are so hard on him. He’s never harmed anyone.”

The self-identifying virtuous may vilify all they consider to be vulgar, and they may try to preserve a world where gypsies cannot become gentry, far less royalty, but a figure like Duke McKenzie towers above them.

Boxing has given us many personalities who transcend their discipline. Let’s not allow those who begrudge them their successes make us throw the icon out with the iconography.

Archie Beaton Inverness