WHO could disagree with Catriona Stewart’s sober suggestion that extension of Glasgow's Subway is long overdue ("Shiny new trains betray lack of ambition for city’s Subway", The Herald, December 15)?

Half a century ago, plans were afoot by the then Greater Glasgow Passenger Transport Executive for Subway extension, on the basis that the Subway couldn’t exist in its present form of a stand-alone circle. Somehow and somewhere, it had to break out.

There was no lack of ideas, included branching off at Kelvinbridge and continuing via the long-closed Kirklee railway line to the old Maryhill Central Station; branching out at Cessnock, then running overground to Abbotsinch for the airport; and a Northern Circle utilising the old Buchanan Street Station railway tunnel.

The Subway as it exists is handy, convenient and useful, but it’s really only a grown-up toy. The train sets that Santa delivers this Christmas will also consist of a basic circle of track, but be sure that it won’t be long before that single circle will have points added and new lines branching off.

The Subway has seen 127 Christmases without a single break-out from the circle. What hope that there might be a concrete plan for extension by the time the 128th Christmas comes round?

Gordon Casely, Crathes.

Read more: New Glasgow subway trains? No, extend the transport system

Let it remain unique

TO describe the Glasgow Subway system as a niche treat for a select few is surely more applicable to that concerning the Cairngorm funicular railway whereby problems are reported in a news item ("Cairngorm funicular railway to remain closed with no timescale to reopen", The Herald, December 15).

Glasgow Subway was a creation of its time to serve the city as it was and the many proposals over ensuing years to expand it as in "throwing a loop" are totally impractical due to the infrastructure of the system.

Let it remain as something unique to Glasgow and with updated stock and methods of operation continue in usage.

John Macnab, Falkirk.

Energy questions still unanswered

SANDY Slater (Letters, December 14) declares that nuclear is not the answer to generating electricity in Scotland. However, there is no mention of what generation plant will power 24/7 schools, hospitals, computers, cash machines or smartphones.

Holyrood plans to increase the wind capacity to 60GW but, as shown by the snow storm at the beginning of December, a lack of wind led to a lack of output, meaning Scotland was dependent on the output of English gas turbine plant. Solar is ineffective over the winter, resulting in the current energy plan that outlines 25GW of hydrogen-fuelled gas turbine output as the back-up system of choice. However, to date, there has been no debate in Parliament as to whether such a technology will work at the quantities of hydrogen required, the risk associated with storing hydrogen gas or the hundreds of billions of pounds required to finance such a project.

There was also no mention as to the price of digging up roads and streets in towns and cities across Scotland to lay pipes to transfer hot water from a district heating facility to the consumers or the fact that, to match the output of a 3.3GW nuclear plant over its 60-year operating life requires over £100 billion of wind farm output (three times that of a nuclear unit) and such a figure does not include the cost of a back-up system to ensure energy supplies when the wind fails to blow.

Ian Moir, Castle Douglas.

Read more: Saving Scotland's wild apples, one tiny seed at a time

The Windscale precedent

SANDY Slater in his criticism of nuclear power (Letters, December 14) observes that Sellafield, previously Windscale, is "an accident waiting to happen". He mentioned a "major fire". He is referring to a serious accident at Windscale in 1957, which resulted in a large cloud of smoke, including radioactive isotopes, floating over parts of the country and some other countries in Europe. It has been shown that the Government at the time embarked on a programme directed at covering the matter up, including giving misleading assurances that the "smoke" was harmless.

Let us hope that Mr Slater is proved wrong in this regard and that we are spared any kind of repetition.

Ian W Thomson, Lenzie.

The Herald: Native crab apples are tiny compared to some other cultivated apples Native crab apples are tiny compared to some other cultivated apples (Image: RBGE)

The seeds of delight

SEEING the photo of the lady holding up the wee crab apple in the article by Sandra Dick ("Thousands of seeds and one bold plan: to save our sour wild apples", The Herald, December 16) made me think back to a time in the mid-1940s when, with a few other child patients in the gardens of the Heart Hospital in Lancashire, we watched as Sister Helen with her gown tucked into her voluminous knickers, climbed one of the crab apple trees, plucked the wee fruit and threw them down for us to pack into the basket. They were taken to the kitchen where she would make crab-pple jelly.

It also made me remember the poem by John Drinkwater, Moonlit Apples:.

In the corridors under there is nothing but sleep.

And stiller than ever on orchard boughs they keep Tryst with the moon, and deep is the silence, deep On moon-washed apples of wonder.

I wish success with the planting of the seed stand and cannot keep from thinking of those 4,407 seeds slumbering in their Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh fridge, which gives much joy. So, good luck little seeds - may you grow into Malus Sylvestris trees when you are planted.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.

Phoney question

I READ Ian McConnell’s article on Bank of Scotland branch closures ("Bank cost-cutting plumbs new depths as profits soar", The Herald, December 15) with a wry smile having been on the receiving end of their push for mobile banking.

The updated security requirements meant my old iPhone no longer allowed me to receive bank statements online. They stopped sending paper copies many moons ago so I was frustratingly forced to upgrade my phone at considerable expense. Logging back into the account proved problematic and necessitated a phone call to customer service. The first question was "Can you tell me from your bank statement what you pay £35.99 for on the 28th of every month? The irony was lost on her.

As Mr McConnell says, many banking matters are still best dealt with face to face.

Catherine Griffin, Glasgow.