Sir, – Your article “Anger as bridge closed after first wintry blast” (Courier, December 5) makes me very angry indeed.
I find it disgusting that ice and snow has yet again forced the closure of the Queensferry Crossing. I find it even more disgusting that we have two large road bridges in the area and neither was operational.
I work in the Edinburgh area as a delivery driver and as a result of the closure I was unable to attend work and will have to forego a days wages.
Businesses and individuals have already faced enough disruption from coronavirus without facing even more disruption from bridge closures which, in my opinion, would not be necessary if proper design and planning had taken place when it was built. There are similar bridges elsewhere in the world that have either heated cables or motorised machines that go up and down the cables clearing ice build up.
Are we so backward here in Scotland that a simple solution like this was never thought of?
This is not the first time that this bridge has faced icing-related issues and closures.
Politicians need to wake up and take action and ensure that this is the last time a closure for this reason takes place.
Webster Place, Rosyth.
Turn retail units into affordable housing
Sir, – The massacre of retail shops in our towns and cities is a disaster for those who are losing their jobs.
The councils will no longer receive rates from these companies so council tax will rise.
Where the properties were leased the owners will pay less corporation tax.
This situation could be turned into an opportunity.
There are too few affordable houses for young people and too many homeless people. These retails outlets could be turned into low cost one and two-bedroom flats. This would ensure additional employment in the building trade for years to come with a higher tax take. This would be better than allowing houses to be built on greenfield sites.
Springfield Road, Linlithgow.
A taxing experience for Holyrood
Sir, – Contrary to Victor Clements’ claims (Is tax break rhetoric for £500 payments too clever?, Courier, December 2) Holyrood does not have full control over income tax.
Tax is collected and the rules are written by HMRC which are reserved matters for Westminster.
The Scottish Government has no authority to waive tax.
The £500 ‘bonus’ is paid for from the block grant allocation, which comes back from tax we have already paid, and has to be found by not spending on something else.
While Holyrood can offset that tax by increasing the bonus, that in itself is subject to tax so the outcome would be our government directly handing more tax back in a circular fashion.
We are responsible for paying NHS salaries but can only use our limited tax varying powers on the overall tax bands so cannot adjust tax for those awarded the bonus.
While it is reasonable to criticise decisions and form opinions it is more helpful to think them through before committing keyboard to email.
It is a gesture, yes, but contrasts with the fine words of public sector pay freezes and huge rises for MPs we see from our Chancellor of the Exchequer and his cronies in yet another round of austerity.
Time to change the record please, Jim
Sir, – I refer to Jim Crumley’s articles of November 7 and 24. Not for the first time I am moved to write regarding his pipe dream of Crumley land.
His latest attempt to influence politics is a cheap shot, given the pandemic.
I remember many of his previous repetitive rants. It’s time to change the record.
He writes to try to influence change when in reality from a yard away he failed to identify the jackdaw prey and referred to it as a blackbird and, incidently, trail cameras have shown hen harrier chicks being killed by both fox and buzzard.
A little more balance and accuracy is required.