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READERS’ LETTERS: Return of Tay Bridge tolls would backfire for SNP

The Tay Bridge tolls were abolished in 2008. Photo: Kim Cessford / DCT Media.
The Tay Bridge tolls were abolished in 2008. Photo: Kim Cessford / DCT Media.

Sir, – I heartily agree with Jane Lax’s comments re the SNP proposal to reinstate tolls not just on the Tay Bridge but on the Forth Bridge also.

There is no logic in doing this. When they abolished the tolls in the first place the anti-car lobby argued this would see an enormous rise in the car traffic over the bridges.

This did not happen and reinstating the tolls is unlikely to reduce the number of cars using the bridges significantly.

What it will do, however, is to bring back the queues of vehicles spewing out pollutants while waiting to pay the tolls, increasing the use of fossil fuels. And in Dundee create the traffic jams we had to endure in the past.

People seem to think drivers using the bridges are only going into Dundee or Edinburgh. Most are not.

The drivers usually need their cars for an onward journey that is not easy using alternative means of transport. Consequently a toll would not dissuade them from using their car. I drive over the Forth Bridge often but I never drive into Edinburgh. I go to visit family in the Borders or on the east coast.

Do you really think putting tolls on the bridge would persuade me to use public transport? Trebling the time and cost of my journey.

This move by the SNP is the last straw for me.

I have been a loyal supporter for years. I voted for them because they are the only Scottish party. The others are just branch offices of the English parties who follow diktat from Westminster.

However the utter incompetence they have displayed in education, for example, is unforgivable.

The new laws on smoke alarms rushed through with little thought on the consequence.

I live in a single-storey building fitted with two interlinked smoke alarms and a CO sensor. I was quoted £700 to fit another alarm, two more CO sensors and a heat sensor to upgrade to the new regulations.

Also, buying wind turbines from the other side of the world instead of making them in Fife really makes their green policies a joke. How many carbon miles will they have to make up? Putting tolls back on the bridges is not going to redeem them, that’s for sure.

Lindsay Johnston, Crawford Avenue, Gauldry.

Weather extremes will increase unless world acts to decrease CO2

Sir, – Once again Charles Wardrop (Letters, February 24) misreads and selectively misinterprets information.

He refers to a World Climate Declaration which states 900 scientists, out of many millions, believe we are not affecting the climate.

The increase in atmospheric CO2 closely mirrors the increase in average temperature, that is demonstrable fact.

Global temperatures are not falling over a long period.

Yes, it changes on an annual basis but the trend is increasing. And far from his assertion we can do nothing about the impact of external factors, that is utter nonsense – we can stop making it worse by reducing our generation of CO2 and methane.

There have been hypotheses we will be entering another ice age – eventually, but increasing temperatures will push this further into the future despite any solar minimums.

Doing nothing and continuing as we are, allegedly as Nero did, will not help our descendants.

The reason for the increase in atmospheric CO2 is the natural absorbers are becoming less effective, coupled with our ever-increasing inclination to convert stored hydrocarbons into energy and CO2.

CO2 mixes in the atmosphere at high altitudes around the world, unlike water vapour which tends to be patchy in its extent allowing heat to escape.

It is the high altitude greenhouse gases that create the problem, especially our also increasing tendency to have aeroplanes emitting the stuff directly there.

At high altitudes, which is where the jet stream operates and drives our weather and atmospheric mixing, water vapour does not exist except as ice crystals (con-trails) so becomes relatively irrelevant in relation to the greenhouse blanket effect.

While methane is even worse at trapping heat it does not remain in the atmosphere for anywhere near as long as CO2.

In the meantime there will be an increasing amount of weather extremes which will have a much bigger economic impact than adjusting how we generate and use energy.

We have to adapt to these changes, not sit back and do nothing.

Nick Cole, Balmacron Farmhouse, Meigle.

Net-zero to lower temperatures

Sir, – Unfortunately, Mr Wardrop has repeated his views on climate change , indicating net-zero will cost us heavily.

The assertion that CO2 is not the major cause as it makes up only 0.04% of our atmosphere, is deliberately using the percentage to minimise the importance of CO2 and its impact on temperature.

This current level of anthropogenic greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide and methane – are higher now than at any time in the past 3.6 million years, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration measurements.

There are graphs showing the steady rise of CO2 and methane over significant recent history.

It is well understood that as the average global air temperature rises, the atmosphere’s capacity to carry water vapour also increases. It is stated that the increase in water vapour is a result of global warming not the driver of global warming.

Mr Wardrop asserts the opposite view, where water vapour is the cause rather than CO2, but this is logically flawed, as somehow water in its liquid state has to evaporate at increased rates into the atmosphere. No mechanism has been described that provides this additional input energy to create the water vapour.

In a previous letter Mr Wardrop has stated that cosmic rays are this additional energy source, by Henrik Svensmark in 1997.

However several others have investigated this.

In 2008 Sloan and Wolfendale and others reported: “We have examined this hypothesis to look for evidence to corroborate it. None has been found and so our conclusions are to doubt it.”

The corrective actions are however still the same – namely, reduce the carbon dioxide and methane emission into the atmosphere and the global average temperature will decrease and so will the water vapour content in the atmosphere, and hence global average temperature.

Unless of course Mr Wardrop is advocating that the corrective action required is we reduce the amount of water vapour in our atmosphere?

Alistair Ballantyne, Birkhill, Angus.

Education key to Scots prosperity

Sir, – Willie Rennie has recently challenged the education secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville to finally publish the correspondence with the OECD about its critical report of Scottish education. She once again refused.

Why does our media not support our MSPs at Holyrood on matters such as this ?

Education is and will always be the cornerstone of policy to counter destitution in Scotland and it is imperative the details of what has gone wrong should be published widely to the people of Scotland.

The latest masterplan, to invent the position of “superheads”, is just another example of mad wokeist, bureaucratic nonsense.

Derek Farmer, Knightsward Farm, Anstruther.

What is the point of having a Scottish Parliament?

My understanding is that it gives us the opportunity for doing things in a different way to the rest of the UK if we judge that following a different route is in our interests.

We can make our own laws and raise our own money to give ourselves maximum flexibility.

Here now is an opportunity to demonstrate those powers if the SNP disagree with the decision of the UK Government to roll back Covid-19 restrictions.

If we think this is a mistake – and many in the Scottish Government appear to think so – will we see additional tax money raised in Scotland through the Budget to be spent on this, or will we simply hear a bumping of gums for a few days followed by the inevitable acceptance of the new measures?

The evidence of the Scottish Parliament working for more than 20 years now is that it has never had the maturity to use its powers in the way intended. Indeed, they would like the public to believe we don’t have these powers at all.

Almost certainly that is what we will see again now – the party that would have us independent, following along blindly behind the Tories, unwilling and unable to chart a different course for fear of having to make a choice and accepting the responsibility and comparisons that must inevitably accompany it.

As others have noted, after nearly two years of differentiated Covid response in Scotland, the overall outcome from the pandemic has been more or less the same, and in some ways, much worse. So much for all the talk.

Victor Clements, Mamie’s Cottage, Aberfeldy.

Johnson’s words back independence

Sir, – Who recently said: “We won’t accept a world in which a powerful neighbour can bully its neighbour.

“We won’t accept it because I believe all people no matter where they are born, have the right to live safely, choose who governs them and decide which organisations they aspire to belong to or indeed what bodies they want to cease being members of.

“I will not compromise on that principle.”

Boris Johnson, last week standing in Warsaw beside Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish prime minister.

The next independence campaign should repeat his words and legitimately claim they are simply responding to this proclamation from such an authoritative source.

A once-in-a-generation moment.

Ian Wallace, Chapman Drive, Carnoustie.

Sturgeon should follow Denmark

Sir, – It is going to be very hard for Nicola Sturgeon to remove the Covid restrictions.

Controlling us is her “go to” response for any problem and letting go is gut-wrenching. The extra round of restrictions over the very unfestive period was a huge slap in the face for the already decimated hospitality trade, and for what?

All the messages coming out of South Africa, where Omicron originated, were that it was a mild variant. So it has proved here.

I quite understand Ms Sturgeon does not want to look as if she is following Boris Johnson. But she could sweeten the pill.

We have all heard her tell us Denmark is a model to emulate: “Independence works. It works for Denmark.”

Well, now Denmark has removed almost all of its restrictions, why not tell us that is what small northern European countries do?

Jill Stephenson, Corstorphine, Edinburgh.

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