Rounding up The Courier letters week, correspondents reply to John J. Marshall’s comments on rural roads, call for politicians to feel the pain of cuts, and appeal for a tougher stance on those who refuse to recycle waste.
Farmers try to minimise road mess
Sir,-Many Courier readers who live, work or travel in the countryside have a good idea of the annual struggle farmers face in gathering in crops and preparing the ground for planting at a time of year when the weather turns wetter and field conditions worsen.
When faced with farm traffic on the move, their continued patience and understanding is much appreciated.
However, vehicle movements in and out of fields during the autumn months always bring the issue of mud and muck on the road and the risks that poses to all road users.
The sad tale recounted by your columnist John J. Marshall (October 20) of an injury sustained by a cyclist on a muddy road was a poignant reminder of the danger.
However, your columnist’s jaundiced view of farmers and how they view their responsibilities is thankfully both unrepresentative and untypical.
Can I reassure readers that the vast majority of farmers take their responsibilities to other road users very, very seriously? The information provided on a regular basis by NFU Scotland to its membership reminds them of their legal requirement to try to avoid mud on roads where possible and, where unavoidable, proper signage and cleaning up as soon as is practically possible is necessary.
We believe that most farmers do their best to meet these requirements even when weather is against them and the time to complete harvest, ploughing and sowing is pressing.
Accidents are a tragic part of life but, hopefully, by having the farming industry meet its obligations on keeping roads free from mud and muck and the continued patience and understanding of road users in the countryside, such incidents will be kept to the barest minimum.
Bob Carruth.Communications Director,NFU Scotland.
Cyclists should be more vigilant
Sir,-John J. Marshall writes about farmers leaving mud on the road by his own admission, on a yearly basis. His use of the word ‘dumping’ implies that mud is deposited on the roads, by farmers, on purpose.
At this time of year, the race is on to get the last of the crops harvested and inside before the worst of the winter sets in.
Farmers are, quite obviously, driving on roads in rural areas.
Surely, it makes sense for cyclists or motorcyclists to be a little bit more vigilant at this time of year as this is when this hazard, by John J. Marshall’s own admission, is at its height.
The crops have to get from the fields to our dinner plates somehow. Leaving the fields is only the first part of a long journey for our vegetables.
Stephen Caldwell.31 Bankton Park,Kingskettle.
Time politicians shared in cuts
Sir,-In all the current talk about cuts, I am puzzled by one blatant admission when are we going to consider reductions in the numbers of our politicians, as well as in their pay and perks?
These changes are long overdue even without the current financial chaos, which they (not bankers) led us into.
So, how about a 50% cut in numbers of politicians and a 50% reduction in their salaries and benefits?
Jim Parker.9 Banchory Green,Collydean,Glenrothes.
Get tough with refuseniks
Sir,-It was disappointing to read your recycling refuseniks story (October 19), revealing that a considerable number of bottles and jars are not being recycled in Perth and Kinross. While I was aware that a significant amount of recyclables are still being put in waste bins, I hadn’t appreciated that this amounts to about half the bottles and jars UK-wide.
Recycling facilities have been with us progressively for a good number of years now, with bottle banks appearing some 25 years ago.
Despite ongoing local authority efforts across Scotland to encourage recycling, including informative leaflets and now door-to-door collection of most materials, many people clearly still chuck all, or much, of their recyclable waste in the bin.
Perth and Kinross Council is quite right to be concerned about the amount of glass that ends up in landfill.
Costs apart, this also increases our emissions, contributing to climate change because the embodied energy involved in manufacturing all new products is much higher than than through recycling.
Glass apart, the likes of aluminium has a particularly high emissions journey, from mining its ore, through smelting and transport from the other side of the world, to the eventual can. So what needs to be done about these serial refuseniks? The time has surely come for some form of compulsion.
Alan Drever.Prospect House,Home Street,Aberfeldy.
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