AS an Arran resident of more than 40 years and traveller to the island since 1948, Martin Williams' recent conjecture about the Arran service reverting to Troon ("CalMac make trial moves to pull out of Ardrossan after safety issues", heraldscotland, February 6) give me further cause for concern.

The temporary (five-day) trial transfer of the Arran service to Troon means that the new online, already unfit for purpose £18.5m ticketing and booking system cannot be used for either passenger or vehicle journeys.

The change to Troon, if it were to be long-term, would take Arran passengers to a position that would be a seriously retrograde step, in that it would require foot passengers to be dependent on a coach transfer from the port to Troon railway station and vice versa. Associated British Ports, owners of Troon Harbour, say that will never change. This would be an unwelcome addition to an already lengthened journey. Historically the ports that have served the main Arran route, for all of my lifetime, Fairlie, Ardrossan and Gourock, have all been served by a rail station at the pier.

Because of longer time in passage to Troon the service is currently losing two return sailings per day. There is nothing good about this arrangement and the island’s economy and attraction as a holiday destination are in serious decline, yet Transport Scotland, the sole owners of the operating company CalMac, appears oblivious to the disruption and inconvenience being caused and the islanders' genuine concerns.

Fiona Hyslop, our latest in a long line of eight transport ministers in the last 10 years, is currently reviewing the scope, and therefore the cost, of the long-awaited upgrade of the Ardrossan port infrastructure which are necessary for the unnecessarily oversized and long-delayed new vessels. A ministerial task force, in conjunction with North Ayrshire Council and others, has been considering these matters since the vessels were ordered yet no decisions have been made, no final designs approved or costed and thus no construction tenders drawn up or awarded.

It is a concern to Arran residents that Ms Hyslop’s overdue report will abandon the whole Ardrossan project and that Troon will become the preferred port for Arran with all of the problems mentioned above and more.

Neil Arthur, Kilpatrick, Isle of Arran.

• WHILST the ferry shambles reveals ever more ill-thought-out design disasters, Alastair Easton (Letters, February 8) clearly knows what he is talking about concerning the sensible choice of engines and fuel for Glens Sannox and Rosa. However, no doubt his proposal to drop LPG if adopted in principle would cause howls of protest from the vocal Green lobby in their pursuit of net zero without regard to the cost or consequences.

If they now appreciate that using LPG would be more environmentally damaging than the use of conventional fuel which was rejected already in favour of LPG, what’s left? I can’t see nuclear reactors as used in our submarines being agreed, so perhaps the only way forward (or rather backward) acceptable to them would be to revert to sail backed up by Viking-style oars when the wind doesn’t blow. Thus, no environmental damage coupled with lots of healthy exercise for the rowers. What’s not to like ?

Alan Fitzpatrick, Dunlop.

Read more: We know about the A9, but when will they do something about the A1?

Nights of worry over pylons

I WRITE in response to Rebecca McQuillan's column (“How pylons could become the next front in the culture war”, The Herald, February 8).

A new phenomenon is growing in rural Scotland. In the early hours of the morning lights appear in windows as residents are unable to sleep.

What is to become of my farm, in the family for generations, who have established a quality of soil second to none, hence its class 1 or 2 status as arable land? What is to become of my business where people come to stay surrounded by unspoilt scenery, to view, to walk, to relax in? What is to become of my home with panoramic views I spent years planning and building with my own hands that will now be in the middle of an industrial landscape? What will I do with my home that I spent my life savings to buy to retire to, to embrace country living, the quiet, the wildlife, the views, which will all be desecrated, and no one will want to buy?

People recognise the need for net zero, but not at a cost to all that they hold dear and cherish. Scotland already produces almost enough electricity for our needs. This electricity is for export and a profit for energy companies. Figures suggesting that this is the cheaper option appear to have been plucked from the sky as alternatives of undergrounding and subsea have not been considered, never mind costed.

And so, those night-time lights in our rural homes continue to shine…

Angela Taylor, North Quilkoe, Angus.

The Herald: There are plans for a new network of pylonsThere are plans for a new network of pylons (Image: PA)

Juries must stay as they are

IT'S good to see that John Swinney has spoken in favour of 15-person juries ("Swinney joins debate over plans to reduce juries in Scotland from 15 to 12", The Herald, February 8). Much easier to get a clear majority than with a reduced even number.

Also, why scrap the not proven verdict? The argument seems to be that it's not understood, but that should be tackled at the start of any trial, particularly when we hear the horrific stories of people wrongly imprisoned but incarcerated for years before being able to convince the powers that be of their innocence.

Patricia Fort, Glasgow.

Read more: Why kowtow to a dysfunctional family in golden palaces?

Pop-ups are such a pain

TWO things annoy me about some websites. There are many who do not give you the option to reject all the adverts, sellware and spyware as they should, and there are others where they have a pop-up head and a chat line ("How may I help?"£) which you cannot get rid of (for example, Currys). I just want to look through a website without being pestered. I'm sure this strategy is often self-defeating: people will just close the website and look elsewhere.

William Loneskie, Lauder.

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A congress of great minds

I WAS amazed when reading today’s paper (The Herald, December 8). On page 9: “Orangutan group backs new ecocide bill” (The Herald, February 9). How on earth did they find each other and get together?

Mary Duncan, East Kilbride.