Sir, – As a cyclist who enjoys Perth city centre, the recent Courier opinion poll regarding making space for safer cycling routes is disheartening reading, and shows just how deeply embedded the car culture is in our cities.
In the paper, the poll results were given as 53% against restricting lanes for motorised traffic to make space for cycle ways and only 47% for the idea.
Online, the percentages slipped even further in favour of cars, even when linked to a story of a cyclist’s death after a collision with a lorry – a story that is becoming all too familiar.
Sadly, even as cycling becomes more popular with young and old, and even as the government encourages us to look after our health and the environment, the very thought of sharing our roads seems to be a step too far for many car drivers.
Cycle Law Scotland,
1 Berry Street,
Refugee support is the point
Sir, – I was aghast when I first heard that Kingsbarns was ‘unsuitable’ for Syrian refugees (“Village ‘unsuitable’ for Syrian refugees”, The Courier, July 12).
When you have the wholehearted support of the community and champions like Dr Martin Dibbs and Kate Holy who, along with others ,work tirelessly for the good of the village, where better than to offer – and I emphasise offer – the chance to a couple of Syrian refugee families to see if they would like to live there.
It is not for admittedly well-intentioned Fife Council officers to second guess a family’s decision when there is such open Kingsbarns support.
Surely a refugee family is above and beyond in need of support and a home as a truly humanitarian action and not, and I quote, “a particular customer group”.
It does beg the question if Kingsbarns is “unsuitable due to lack of facilities” that this village and others in the East Neuk and Landward all should be required to be emptied of population as they are too “impractical and remote”.
East Neuk and
SNP man of mystery
Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon’s husband, Peter Murrell, is chief executive of the SNP. He is, therefore, arguably the most powerful SNP figure outside of the Holyrood and Westminster parliaments.
His is a party appointment and not one subject to a public vote.
I have tried to find out more about Mr Murrell on the internet but apart from the fact that he is 68, went to school in Edinburgh and is an economist, there is nothing at all relating to his background or employment history.
There is a claim that he is a private person, but people have a right to know something about a man who wields so much power over the lives of the people of Scotland
Ninewells parking fees
Sir, – Recent correspondence on this subject seems to be polarised and often misses several points.
Firstly, Ninewells is increasingly the destination of choice, either through location or the gradual centralisation of services.
This means it serves a huge hinterland from Drumochter to Fife.
So while public transport may be an option for those who live in Dundee, it is not practical or even available for most people outside.
Increasing the number of services means that more and more staff are required to work there and then provision needs to be made for an increasing number of patients and, at times, their families.
The current parking provision is inadequate during most of the day, and at times all but impossible for those with a disabled badge.
The multi-storey park is full most of the time as well.
Parking charges serve to reduce the numbers of non-patients but add insult to the misery hospital patients are already suffering.
What would help more would be for the parking operators to be required to increase the number of parking spaces available for both staff and patients, and be more flexible about payments and the charges they levy.
A scheme similar to that at PRI may go some way to addressing this, where those with appointments are given a parking slip, which means that non-patients pay for use of the car park.
Don’t just blame agriculture
Sir, – In response to Harry Key’s letter (“Clean windscreen is a sinister sign”, July 9.
He should be aware that in the Arran area there will be next to zero chemical use, given that there are no arable crops.
Farming uses extremely small dose rates of insecticides which are also very selective in the pests they target.
Sprayer operators are also highly trained in the safe use of chemicals and how to keep them away from hedgerows and watercourses – unlike thousands of gardeners who aren’t similarly trained.
He also wonders if insecticides are to blame for the decline in bird numbers.
May I suggest he notes the number of birds of prey which thrive on smaller birds.
Farming also never gets the recognition it deserves for the number of environmental schemes that it undertakes.
Given I operated a crop sprayer for 20 years wearing nothing more than jeans and a t-shirt, and I am in perfectly good health, may I suggest he’s barking up the wrong tree in suggesting insecticides are eradicating insect life in the area?
As are most of the so- called naturists, and until they stop blaming only agriculture then the UK’s wildlife doesn’t stand a chance.
Which version do we choose?
Sir, – Our MP Kirstene Hair notoriously admitted she did not vote in the referendum on the EU as she found it difficult.
Since then she has consistently urged us all to get behind Brexit.
Can I ask which Brexit Ms Hair wants us to get behind? The Brexit of Boris Johnson, David Davis, Jacob Rees-Mogg or that of Theresa May?
If she found it difficult when the question was “yes” or “no” then she must be finding it very difficult when we have five or six versions.
Do tell us which one you want us to back Kirstene?
7 Lour Road,
Grim battle for Brexit stakes
Sir, – Tory handling of Brexit is now beyond shambolic.
Theresa May, a hack politician if ever there was one, is hopelessly out of her depth in dealing either with her own viciously divided party or the brutally uncompromising eurocrats in Brussels. She has now been ruthlessly humiliated by Trump as well.
Trump’s performance at the Nato Summit confirmed the failure of May’s compromise over Brexit is rooted in the growing antagonisms between the imperialist powers.
The Hard Brexit faction in conjunction with Trump wants a complete divorce from the EU, motivated by the absurd fantasy of regaining a lost imperial greatness and, in a more sinister way, the fuller implementation of an even more vicious neoliberalism freed from “the bureaucratic red tape” and “big government” of the already neoliberal EU.
The Brexit oddballs are hoping the Eurocrats force May to a total capitulation, then any deal she makes will fall, and make her defenestration easier.
The civil war in the Tory Party over Brexit will see it split. However the economic damage this will do can’t be overstated.
2 Gillespie Terrace, Dundee.