I WAS in the Highlands last week enjoying a short break north of Inverness, a former home town of mine, and expecting monster petrol prices.

What a shock I got. They were actually cheaper in some village garages than I've found in Glasgow or Edinburgh, sometimes by as much as 14p a litre. We are talking £1.439 (Jet) in Contin, near Strathpeffer.

I'm not even including in this rant the outrageous charges demanded on our small network of motorways in the Central Belt including BP's Harthill, which I refuse to use now.

"Why such a difference in price?" my wife asked on our last visit there. "Because of the convenience," was the response, and that included an inflated price on a bottle of water.

Next time you fill up your petrol tank think of how much is being drained from your bank account for "convenience".

I returned to Glasgow with an empty tank and sought out my two nearest service stations within a mile of each other on the Southside.

Shell was at £1.579, BP £1.539.

Why the nines? They're consistent of course with the sad but still-used retail promotions in high street stores: exclusive, best value, only £19.99.

Are there really consumers who might think £20 is too expensive but £19.99 is a bargain? Round it up please.

I'd like to know why petrol prices can vary so much at different locations, and especially when the refined oil comes from the same company. And please don't respond with suggestions it's to do with costs of delivery etc. I think my trip has ruled that out.

It's more to do with outright profiteering at the motorist's expense.

Andy Stenton, Glasgow.

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LEZ must be retained

I HAVE struggled to find anything positive in Donald MacLeod's article concerning his opposition to the LEZ, parking charges for private vehicles and improved conditions for people to walk and cycle in the City of Glasgow ("LEZ must be suspended at night for the sake of hospitality sector", The Herald, April 8). He quotes a number of influential people who, he claims, support his views, but how many of them live in the city and are eligible to vote for our city councillors?

Mr MacLeod apparently wants people with old cars, spluttering petrol and diesel fumes, to drive into the city, leave their cars on our busy streets and go off to enjoy themselves without contributing to the public coffers.

Many of us who do live in the city have campaigned for cleaner air, better facilities for people who walk and cycle, for an improved bus service (which, at long last, we should soon be getting) and, I am sure, many of us want the Subway to run beyond 6pm on a Sunday.

With a good 24-hour bus service, a Subway that runs when people want to travel, with ScotRail performing well and with the addition of more park and ride facilities on the outskirts of the city, the majority of people who live on the outskirts will be able to access the city without scrimping and saving to buy an old second-hand car. This leaves plenty of room in our car parks for those people who need, rather than want, to use a car.

This - improving conditions for us all - I suggest, is where Mr MacLeod and his ilk should be spending their energy, rather than encouraging people to endure the frustrations of sitting in traffic jams before going to the pub or the cinema.

Patricia Fort, Glasgow.

Fine these selfish parkers

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY with Alastair MacGregor (Letters, April 3) regarding the misuse of disabled parking bays.

My wife has mobility issues and has a blue badge. We have given up going to our local M & S store as on the occasions we did it was impossible to find a space in the designated areas, all full up with cars which had no badges displayed. It is not restricted to this store; many others are similarly affected in our area.

These people have no respect for the afflicted who rely on a convenient parking spot. I wonder if they have a conscience about what they are doing?

I agree entirely with Mr MacGregor that it is about time that the authorities should make it an offence for non-badge holders to be fined, say £100.

We all grow old and one day these people may find that there is no room for them in designated parking when they need it.

Colin Cumming, Hamilton.

Sturgeon wrong on palliative care

SO Nicola Sturgeon has come out against assisted dying on the grounds that it will take the focus away from palliative care ("Former FM Sturgeon ‘veering against’ support for new Assisted Dying Bill", The Herald, April 4, and Letters, April 8). Unfortunately, a grasp of numeracy was never her strength and, logically, the reverse is the case.

If a terminally ill person, facing months of palliative care, seeks and is granted assisted dying, with the key safeguards in place, then the palliative care they would have received is freed up for the benefit of others who may need it. Thus, assisted dying actually increases the capacity per capita for palliative care rather than diminishing it.

Roy Pedersen, Inverness.

Let's lose the guilt over food

I SHARE Sarah Campbell's concern about the Scottish Government's proposal to mandate the labelling of calorie content on menus (" I know dangers of calorie counting", Herald Magazine, April 6). While this is part of a laudable attempt to address the issue of ill health in Scotland it could represent a dangerous trigger to those recovering from or on the brink of developing anorexia, bulimia or other eating disorders.

Could we approach this in another way, not by inducing guilt but by building up positives with regard to food, exercise, sport and the arts? As Ms Campbell says, we should not forget that the cooking and sharing of food is something to be celebrated.

Judith Johnston, Glasgow.

The Herald: Do we pay too much attention to counting calories?Do we pay too much attention to counting calories? (Image: Getty)

A fast learner

RECENT letters on pronunciation remind me of my time as a Glasgow primary teacher in the 1970s. A peripatetic language teacher visited the school to tutor immigrant children.

A teacher met a child in the corridor and asked him: "Mohammed, why are you not in class?"

He answered: "Ah'm gaun tae the ethnic wummin fur mah Unglish."

Moyna Gardner, Glasgow.