HAVING been raised in the eastern Scottish Borders and now living in East Lothian, I largely agree with Rosemary Goring’s insightful article ("Highlands may have issues, but don’t forget the Borders", The Herald, February 5), but would add the silent, shameful scandal of the absence of appropriate cross-border road links on the east coast, every bit as inadequate and hazardous as the more controversial A9 between Perth and Inverness.

For both business and pleasure, I have frequently driven on both stretches of road, a slow and unnerving experience at the best of times, scary and occasionally spine-chilling in poor weather, failing light and darkness.

Accidents and near-misses are caused by confusion, frustration, and on occasions rank bad driving on both trunk roads used extensively by HGVs, agricultural vehicles, caravans and many visitors unaccustomed with the vagaries of frequently-changing road layouts.

The A1 between Edinburgh and Newcastle is roughly equidistant to the A9 connecting Perth and Inverness, yet the population aggregate between the cities is around 750,000 and 100,000 respectively, which must be proportionate in road use and economic impact. Yet little is ever heard of the fact that almost one-third of the A1 between the Scottish capital and Tyneside remains below dual carriageway specification.

The 30-mile section between Dunbar and Berwick comprises four sections of dual carriageway, three of single carriageway and one hybrid stretch permitting overtaking in one direction only, while less than half the 63 miles from the Border south to Newcastle is dual carriageway, the remaining 265-mile distance south to London notably dual carriageway or full motorway status and not one mile of single-track road.

For the benefit of national and regional economies, especially tourism and trade between the Central Belt and Highlands, the Scottish Government’s failure to honour its commitment "that nearly 50% of the A9 between Perth and Inverness will be open as dual carriageway by the end of 2030, rising to 85% by the end of 2033 and 100% by the end of 2035" is entirely unacceptable and must be redoubled as an SNP manifesto commitment both for the upcoming General Election and the 2026 Scottish Parliamentary Elections. However, the individual and collective failure of Westminster and Holyrood governments to prioritise the dualling of the remaining sections of the A1 both sides of the Border is a shameful, dangerous and costly omission, arguably a symptom of the fractured relationship between Westminster and Holyrood.

If the UK Government is genuinely intent on cementing the future of the Union, now routinely offering billions in "levelling-up"’ money direct to Scottish local authorities - even in devolved areas such as transport - then an infrastructure investment project tangibly strengthening links between London and Edinburgh must surely be a practical and political win-win for all concerned.

Furthermore, road safety and economic development (including liberating the eastern Borders of its "backwater" and "hidden gem" reputation) must surely be more appropriate than outgoing Scottish Secretary Alister Jack lobbying for "enhanced UK Government investment" in multi-million-pound road transport projects near Stranraer and Cairnryan.

Mike Wilson, Longniddry.

Read more: Scottish Borders is all too often forgotten by policy makers

Protect Govan Graving Dock

GLASGOW’S relationship to the River Clyde has been hugely important and should remain so. But it is at further risk.

Awareness of that relationship has reduced partially due to property developments along the Clyde, some even blocking public rights of way alongside the river.

One particular location has great potential to bring back that connection while providing community-enhancing space. It is to the south of the river, just west of the Glasgow Science Centre and Tower where Waverly excursions start. It is the site of the Govan Graving (dry) Docks. Vessels entered these docks, gates would then be closed, the water pumped out allowing access to repair hulls, propellers and so on. Built in the late 19th century they are Category-A listed, part of Govan’s rich maritime heritage and unique in Europe.

However the current owners have submitted a planning application to build more than 300 private flats on the docks along Govan Road, at Southcroft Street and next to the tidal basin at Clydebrae Street.

They would destroy the great potential of this location and that special relationship with the Clyde, blocking views across the river. There’s also concern about parking and effects on adjacent roads.

If this application is refused the area could be given protected status as a maritime infrastructure, heritage and community asset, open to the return of ship repairs (already started in No 1 dock) and a major maritime centre, open community land with potential community/social enterprises that could create long-term skilled jobs and opportunities for locals, and space to relax.

You can help protect this important site. Get guidance by emailing Clyde Docks Preservation Initiative at info@cdpi.org.uk and ask how you can object to this planning application. Your objection needs to be received by February 16.

Jim Stamper, Bearsden.

The Herald: The border between Scotland and England on the A1 at Lamberton, north of Berwick-upon-TweedThe border between Scotland and England on the A1 at Lamberton, north of Berwick-upon-Tweed (Image: Newsquest)

Responsibility lies with parents

THE recent report on the worsening health of under-fives ("Children ‘betrayed’ amid ‘appalling decline’ in young people’s health in UK", The Herald, January 6) mentions: "Every child has the right to a safe and healthy childhood. It is shameful that the UK is failing to provide this."

No one would disagree, but surely, if it was more accurate, it should read "parent(s) are failing to provide this"?

"The UK" was never my main caregiver when I was a child. Responsibility lay with my parents. Can "the UK" make a small child obese through overeating? Or not bother to take a child for a free NHS vaccine for a communicable disease? Or not teach a child to brush its teeth and give it soft drinks? I would guess not.

David Bone, Girvan.

Read more: The row over David Hume is a proxy battle in a culture war

Mower tax relief

LIKE William Durward (Letters, February 6), I am a No voter, but at 91, my odds on the SNP dying before I do are not good. The garden bin fee is, as he suggests, a disgrace, but the odds on the SNP's successors abolishing this impost are also not high. Income tax was introduced as a temporary tax to fund the Napoleonic Wars.

I await suggestions on how to avoid this latest levy. Avoidance is legal, evasion illegal.

Just let the grass grow? Unlikely to go down well with she who must be obeyed.

David Miller, Milngavie.