FROM press reports I think that there is a strong possibility that once the MVs Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa relocate to Troon to service Arran, the move from Ardrossan will become permanent. This fear has been recognised by passengers and North Ayrshire Council with concern about the then viability of Ardrossan's CalMac terminal and the harbour train service.

Perhaps a solution can be found by looking back in time to when the Glasgow and South West Railway Company operated a passenger-only service using the large and fast paddle steamer Glen Sannox which connected with their express train service to Glasgow. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries commuters from Brodick could be in Glasgow in around 90 minutes.

Would there be a chance of saving the train service if the big ferries stay at Troon, by operating a fast passenger-only service from Brodick to Ardrossan which connected with ScotRail services to Glasgow? The other benefit of a service like this is that, if memory serves me correctly, some commuters from Arran leave their cars at Ardrossan's pier car park and travel by ferry as foot passengers. A passenger-only service such as described above would allow this convenience to continue if the train service did not suit, for example for more local mainland journeys. But if the Brodick/Troon route is permanent, because Troon does not have the same rail connectivity there is a greater inconvenience to foot passengers.

As to a possible ferry type, I have had a look at the Apollo Duck website and a smallish, fast catamaran with a capacity of 275 passengers is for sale at circa £2.5 million. This ferry is about 20 years old and is capable of over 35 knots. No doubt more than one ferry like this would be needed and a search such as mine would probably locate others.

Could North Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Government and CalMac consider a business plan that would allow such a service as described above, if the main car ferry service does not return to Ardrossan and there is the added incentive that there could be a reduction in car usage with such a ferry and train services being available?

It seems that this idea also ticks the Scottish Government's green boxes by offering a public transport option as an alternative to car usage... just like the "olden days" of the original Glen Sannox and the express train service.

Ian Gray, Croftamie.

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Calling all office-bearers

IN 2021 the Scottish Parliament, consistently with its penchant for finding new ways to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens, approved regulations which will result in many decent people breaking a law they have never heard about. For who among the general public have heard of the Register of Persons Holding a Controlled Interest in Land (the RCI), or if they have, who realised it may apply to office-bearers and trustees of thousands of sports clubs, community halls, charities, churches and other places of worship throughout Scotland?

Despite claims that government agencies have been raising public awareness and engaging with stakeholders since the register was established in 2022, the regulations have flown under the radar of many people to whom they apply. This is potentially calamitous for them because if those who should register fail, without reasonable excuse, to do so by April 1, 2024, they will be guilty of an offence which is punishable by a fine up to £5,000.

The regulations are triggered in relation to anyone who is an owner (or tenant in a land-registered lease in excess of 20 years) of any land or building in Scotland where anyone other than the owner or tenant registered in the land registers has significant control or influence over them, although mercifully the regulations are not intended to "capture" those who own their own home where there is no-one who has significant control or influence over them. Nor do the regulations apply to people in organisations which provide the desired transparency in other ways such as limited companies or Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisations.

I discovered the existence of the RCI by chance a few weeks ago. My main concern was the impact on the trustees and leaders of independent churches who are not affiliated to any umbrella organisation which might have alerted them to the issue, but the regulations apply throughout Scotland to, inter alia, certain individuals, partners in partnerships, trustees in trusts, and trustees and office-bearers in unincorporated associations, and in seven days’ time many of them, who have no doubt made it their business to obey the law of the land, will find that they are guilty of an offence. It may be a blessing in disguise that the police may be so busy dealing with the initial surge of complaints under the Hate Crime Act that they will not immediately have the time to track down such terrible offenders.

The regulations are detailed and less than straightforward with numerous nuances and exemptions. The Registers of Scotland have made a valiant effort to provide useful guidance on their website and your readers should make that their first port of call if they are wondering whether the regulations might apply to them.

Campbell Fullarton, Kilmarnock.

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Israel is an apartheid state

NORMAN A Ogston (Letters, March 22) writes in opposition to Eric Melvin's views (Letters, March 19) on Israel's attitude to Palestine. Can I, in turn, express my total opposition to Mr Ogston's view?

Israel is indeed an apartheid state; it is an absolute fiction that Arabs enjoy equal rights. Tell that to Palestinians on the West Bank enduring low-level but relentless and violent ethnic cleansing at the hands of Israeli settlers, aided and abetted by the IDF. This also exposes the fiction that Israel never instigates violence. What is happening on the West Bank is a deliberate policy of the Israeli government.

Mr Ogston prays for "the land to be unified with equal rights of citizenship for Israelis and Arabs". Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet colleagues have stated clearly that that will never happen. They want an Israel which encompasses the West Bank and Gaza and where the Palestinian population, if they can't be driven over a border to a neighbouring country, will always be second-class.

Two separate states is the only solution, however hard it may be to achieve that. The Oslo accord has become dead in the water and needs to be revived. I despair at the absence of moral leadership and humanity shown by Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.

Sandy Slater, Stirling.

The Herald: Benjamin NetanyahuBenjamin Netanyahu (Image: PA)

Rusty knowledge

RE correspondence about the Titan crane and the use of the word "iconic" (Letters, March 20 & 21): given that these structures are steel and rusting, and that the debate is about how to describe them and not about the lack of finance to maintain them, is the appropriate word "ironic" and not "iconic"?

Andrew Robertson, Giffnock.