Sir,– I am extremely concerned by the partial closure of the brand new Queensferry Crossing. (Courier, November 28).
It is very worrying that a bridge that has been open less than 12 weeks is already being partially closed so that emergency/unplanned repairs can be carried out on the expansion joints and surrounding road surface.
I understand that if the traffic was travelling at 70mph the problems which have surfaced may have posed a danger to traffic and/or the structure of the bridge.
Surely if the bridge was designed to carry traffic at 70mph then this problem should have been spotted long before it opened to the public?
Is this just a one-off closure or are there other issues still to come to light? I also believe there are issues with the wind barriers. This whole farce does not fill me with confidence. It is funny how the 130-year-old railway bridge is still going strong, yet a bridge just a few months old is needing repairs.
As a motorist I would rather the Queensferry Crossing had opened six months to a year behind schedule and had been fully completed rather than rushing it to completion just so the SNP could say it had opened on time.
Overall the Queensferry Crossing has made no difference to the traffic at peak hours and might even be worse than the old Forth Road Bridge.
Sometimes my journey from Rosyth to the Canonmills area of Edinburgh can take as long as two hours at peak times.
This is a disgraceful situation and the whole roads and transport policy, including public transport, needs a major rethink to be brought into the 21st Century.
At the moment my assessment of the Queensferry Crossing is nothing other than a total SNP failure of a bridge.
18 Webster Place,
Don’t raise bridge speed
Sir, – I do not share the transport minister’s enthusiasm for raising the speed limit on the new Forth bridge to 70mph.
One in four fatalities and serious injuries are caused by excessive speed.
The current 50mph limit should be a permanent one – indeed 50mph could in some circumstances be dangerous.
Humza Yousaf seems to think that the national motorway speed limit is a target. It is not. It is a maximum which should be reached only under the most favourable conditions.
Then again we are constantly lectured by the SNP Government about the vital need to reduce emissions. The faster a vehicle travels the more pollution it causes. So on the one hand we are told to slow down, on the other to speed up.
But it would seem that Mr Yousaf is not concerned about reducing vehicle pollution at all.
9 Justice Park,
It will be ironic if Ireland saves us
Sir, –The way to Brexit may be barred by the Great Celtic Wall – a 300-mile stretch of hard internal border which will disrupt Irish trade and the Good Friday agreement.
Theresa May remains hoist by the impossible conundrum of the three incompatible pledges she made: no single market, no customs union and no hard border in Ireland.
Something’s got to give. I suspect it will be the UK remaining in the EU customs union, and seeking single market membership through the European Economic Area.
This will be necessary anyway in the interim phase, and any hopes of a cunning technological plan to allow looser economic links are looking increasingly forlorn.
And wouldn’t it be historic irony of the highest order if, after all the travails since the days of Oliver Cromwell, Ireland rides to our rescue and saves us from this lemming-like act of suicidal folly called Brexit?
10 Howard Place,
A disorderly Brexit ahead
Sir, – I am reassured that Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said that major banks have survived a stress test and would survive a disorderly Brexit.
That is good because that is what we are facing under the shambolic leadership of Remainers.
I don’t believe there is anyone who could do a decent job with Brexit.
Should the stress tests not have been done pre-referendum? Instead the heavily biased Remain government did no contingency planning, refusing to believe that the British people would vote Leave.
If the banks are anticipating a disorderly Brexit, then surely they have another taxpayer bail-out at the back of their mind?
It is rather ironic vast sums of money are available very quickly to support the financial sector and of course their shareholders, yet the people at the bottom of the ladder have to endure austerity.
Is that not one of the main reasons people voted Leave – not racism as Remainers would like to claim, but a cry to the Government to listen to the many and not the few, and to put ordinary British people first?
Are they listening?
No, and that is why we are facing a disorderly Brexit.
117 Simpson Square,
Capital of Culture bid folly
Sir, – We witness an explosion of outrage that the EU has denied candidacy of Dundee to participate in the EU Capital of Culture lottery.
The blame, as we have come to expect from SNP acolytes, is squarely placed with the Tory Government.
But what does the whole notion of EU Capital of Culture mean? We have seen Hull become the UK City of Culture 2017 recently!
The common understanding of the term “culture” is “the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.”
Are we deluding ourselves that, in all of the member countries of the EU, Dundee would be recognised above everyone else as having a history of cultural development and is facing a future cultural transformation in matters of the arts and intellectual and social development ?
It seems to me to have always been a vainglorious vanity project.
If the intention was that the (remote) possibility of achieving Capital of Culture recognition would bring local economic benefit, then Dundee would be far better off concentrating on promoting its location and its universities to raise its image in the UK first, before attempting the impossible further afield.
Reaction to Dundee’s Capital of Culture bid is just another money-wasting example of faux outrage and a lack of understanding of world realities.
A leader with the right vision
Sir, – In Richard Leonard, Scottish Labour have found a leader with the policies and vision to improve the lives of us Scots and end the divisiveness of the last 10 years of SNP control.
Real socialist policies will see the tide turn against the SNP, and see a Labour government installed in Westminster.
Learning from the Brexit referendum, commentators are now saying that the 2014 independence referendum did not see a nationalist surge. Instead people perceived the opportunity of turning away from a neoliberal state committed to austerity for the next 10 years.
Richard Leonard has policies which will tackle the scourges of our age: poverty, inequality, lack of affordable housing and a crumbling NHS.
Scotland needs radical change, tinkering round the edges just won’t work.
Mr Leonard is right to concentrate on tackling poverty and inequality. He is committed to controlling rents and a massive house-building programme.
The insecurity of zero hours contracts has to end. Austerity has proved a disaster. Instead of eliminating the budget deficit, it crashed the economy and the national debt is now more than double seven years ago.
The Office for Budget Responsibility has warned of a slowdown in the economy under austerity policies, which is why the Chancellor could offer only tinkering in his Budget – there is no money left.
Changes are also needed to the tax system to tackle inequality. Under the Tories the rich have got richer and the poor, poorer. Taxes for the rich have been reduced, but VAT and National Insurance for the poorest have risen.
Richard Leonard has policies many Scots will find very attractive.
95 Craiglockhart Road,