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READERS’ LETTERS: Folly to power ahead with electric vehicles

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Madam, – Your correspondent Clark Cross (Drive to go green comes at a cost, Courier, January 28) rightly points out the heavy costs in subsidies to us taxpayers and the national inadequacy of electricity supply for the planned switch to electric powered cars, as internal combustion is phased out.

We should be demanding to know the reasoning behind this drastic proposed policy and whether it justifies the problems it poses, especially in terms of costs and the obvious dangers to the economy and also to life.

Could such a policy be based on suspected poor air quality in cities, the perceived need to meet EU and government renewables targets and decarbonisation of industry?

Or is it just a general “green” suspicion that the drawbacks of internal combustion-based energy outweigh its usefulness to us?

The problems of electric car “range anxiety”, of impractical, costly charging facilities, a slump in value when selling such vehicles on and very expensive battery replacement after just a few years of use are well known.

But these batteries’ fire hazards after collisions are not widely enough recognised.

When their lithium components catch fire, extinction is possible only by using specialised chemicals – the battery may explode.

Such motor fires may have to be left, cordoned off, to burn out.

Electric cars, therefore, surely represent a nightmare of problems, dwarfing those risks they might help solve.

Especially since other transport vehicles and engines must continue to maintain our modern civilisation.

Dr Charles Wardrop.

111 Viewlands Road West,



Argument for rail link is made

Madam, – The commitment by Transport Secretary Michael Matheson to visit and meet Levenmouth rail campaigners is welcome (Transport boss to meet rail campaigners, Courier, January 24).

He already demonstrates greater courage than any of his four predecessors who, despite repeated invitations, seemed willing to travel anywhere except Levenmouth.

However, Mr Mathieson’s statement conveys some degree of confusion, mentioning that “findings from the transport appraisal work will identify if there is a rationale for progressing the Levenmouth rail link.”

The current study seeks to assess the business case rather than basic rationale.

The rationale is factually overwhelming and if rail does not return to Levenmouth, there can be no case for rail enhancement anywhere in Scotland again.

As Levenmouth marks 50 years since the closure of passenger services – which, incidentally, Beeching recommended remain open – we will not be fobbed off with further spurious arguments and delays.

We will not accept the useless sop of improved bus services.

James Robertson.




Wishful thinking over Indyref2

Madam, – With a healthy dose of wishful thinking, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon claimed on the Andrew Marr show that recent developments would have no impact on the independence movement.

Of course an individual facing charges is innocent until proven guilty.

Yet when it comes to political campaigns, the electorate decide for themselves what is important and what to believe.

Whether that is a party’s performance in office, promises that people consider to have been broken or a question of trust.

The balance of Scottish public opinion has remained where it was in 2014.

So if the first minister sticks with her previous commitments to not pursue Indyref2 unless there is sustained support for it, then it will be that rather than recent developments that causes her to continue to prevaricate.

Keith Howell.

White Moss,

West Linton.


Denying democracy

Madam, – The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union.

Both Conservatives and Labour committed in their respective manifestos prior to the general election that the country would leave the EEC.

So what is it about democracy our MPs don’t understand?

The prime minister took a long time to reach an amicable agreement with Europe which accomplished the wishes of the British people, and so cannot change her mind.

The prime minister is carrying out the democratic will of the electorate.

What is it that our MPs in the Westminster bubble do not understand?

Alan Bell.




Churchill row raises questions

Madam, – Following Green Party MSP Ross Greer’s condemnation of Winston Churchill.

Is it not frightening that he is part of an unelected party with a huge influence on decisions made by the Scottish Government?

Mev Braid.

Kinkell Avenue,



New UK border a non-starter

Madam, – The heading Hjul mantra falls on deaf ears (Courier, January 26) is amply proven by Dan Wood’s opinionated letter.

He should read Bill Ledger’s of the same date (Better being in EU than at war) expressing concern about war in the event of a border between the UK and the EU.

Borders have always caused conflict between peoples. Why should we want a national border with the rest of the UK?

There is little doubt about Scotland’s ability to be economically independent.

We might possibly save a penny or two. But to establish a contentious border is surely idiotic.

Perhaps the SNP seeks the same sort of negative power that the Irish border exerts in stultifying settlement of the Brexit issue?

Andrew Lawson.

9 MacLaren Gardens,



Sniping from the sidelines

Madam, – Picking up on Alex Orr’s letter (History says prime minister should resign, Courier, January 26).

Could the truth be that none of the ardent Brexiteers had a clue what to do about negotiations and that they were perfectly happy to see Mrs May pick up the reins while they sniped from the sidelines ?

Ian Allan.

5 Marchside Court,



Donors should be the focus

Madam, – We were shocked to learn that an annual memorial ceremony for those who have donated their bodies to medical and scientific research is religious and held in an Edinburgh church.

Our secretary has swapped friendly emails with Edinburgh University Chaplaincy who explained that they are still “collecting relevant data” on how to plan this year’s ceremony.

We welcome this. Christian ritual is important to Christians but surely we are celebrating the generosity of donors and not the religion of the celebrants.

Neil Barber.

Edinburgh Secular Society,

Saughtonhall Drive.