FRANCIS Deigman (Letters, July 1) is correct that motorists do carry a large tax burden. What he does not either recognise or realise is that what motorists pay does not come near to covering their costs to society when you take into account all the external costs inflicted on society by motorists.

The following points are taken primarily from the web site, which quotes the Institute of Fiscal Studies: “Road use generates costs which are borne by wider society instead of the motorist.”

The costs to society arise from the following:

• Excess delays caused by congestion;

• Accidents;

• Poor air quality

• Physical inactivity;

• Greenhouse gas emissions;

• Noise;

• Road space given to storage of vehicles sitting unused for most of the day;

• Hostility to active travel.

According to a 2009 Transport Select Committee report, "estimates of the marginal costs of road transport provided in a report commissioned by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions result in a higher total cost figure of £71-95 billion (in 2006 prices). This excludes the costs of physical inactivity and other as yet un-monetised costs such as severance effects and loss of tranquillity."

The result of all these costs is that the average motorist is subsidised by society to the tune of well in excess of £2,000 per year.

Boyd Johnston, Paisley.


I WAS fascinated to read that the People's Palace in Glasgow Green has now reopened for a whole two days per week ("£100m city deal seals brighter opening for People’s Palace", The Herald, July 3). That is good news for those people with internet access who are able to book online, but very bad news for everyone else, including all the people who use Glasgow Green for exercise, recreation, enjoying the outdoors and meeting up with friends, since the only "public toilets" are in the People's Palace and, according to your article, are restricted to ticket holders.

This varies with the information sent to one of my city councillors by Dr Bridget O'Connell, chief executive, Glasgow Life, on May 25 this year, which states: "A plan is being prepared for the building to reopen for the summer school holidays. When the building reopens the visitor capacity will be reduced to support social distancing and we will be encouraging visitors to pre-book tickets. It will be possible for others to enter the building without a booking while adhering to Test & Protect guidance, so long as visitor capacity is not exceeded.

"This will allow the toilet facilities to be accessed by visitors to Glasgow Green."

May I be allowed to use your pages to suggest that if any of your readers resident in Glasgow are as enraged as I am about the lack of public toilets, not just in Glasgow Green, but throughout this great city, that they add their name to the petition currently open (until 07 July) on the Glasgow City Council Petitions page of the council website (if they have internet access, of course).

Patricia Fort, Glasgow.


THESE days public bodies and politicians talk about pollution and public health, but is some of this hot air? I note Sara Paciaroni’s article about Scottish Canals’ plans to invest in green technologies ("Scottish Canals leads way in the green revolution with £250k of solar panels", The Herald, July 1). Amid the talk of sustainable transport, I noticed there was no reference to the impact of canal moorings on the environment.

In recent years Scottish Canals and other developers have created many new boat moorings on the waterways. Moorings generate income, not least from residential boats paying annual rent. But moorings also generate pollution. The boats using them generally have diesel engines which aren’t subject to the strict emissions tests of road vehicles, and they produce woodsmoke from multi-fuel stoves. Moored boats can cause a considerable localised build-up, a reality that gives rise to numerous complaints on some English canals.

On the Union Canal at Linlithgow recently, I found myself enveloped in diesel fug from a tourist hire boat idling at one of Scottish Canals’ recently-created moorings. Being asthmatic I am only too aware of the likely effect on my health. This moorings was developed next to three schools, despite parents expressing concern about boat pollution drifting onto the adjacent playgrounds. Moorings developments currently in the pipeline for other central Scotland locations suggest a similar failure to anticipate increased emissions.

There is a climate of denial about the fact that more moorings means more pollution. There are no limits on the number of boats that can concentrate in a given area, and no restrictions on the proximity of moorings to schools, playgrounds, gardens and houses. This laxity is completely at odds with our contemporary understanding of climate change and public health impacts. I would therefore urge Transport Minister Graeme Dey and Net Zero Cabinet Secretary Michael Matheson to introduce a system of scrutiny of existing and proposed canal moorings that is fit for the 21st century.

Thérèse Stewart, Linlithgow.


JAMES Miller (Letters, July 3) leaves himself wide open for criticism for his outdated view that PC correctness is the reason for female TV sports pundit appointments.

Take a look at international appearances for the main four Match of the Day male presenters then check how many Alex Scott has. Female presenters are every bit a experienced as most of the male pundits and I for one welcome them in all sports as a long-overdue breath of fresh air.

Douglas Jardine, Bishopbriggs.