Sir; Annette Birkett’s alarmist letter concerning the new Madras College appears to be based on a 1970s fictional disaster film.
Perhaps a statistician could give figures as to the probability of all the scenarios described by her happening at the same time?
It is not clear if Annette is arguing for the new school to be built on the pond area to the north of the town. If this is the case, this area is a boggy swamp, which is almost at sea level and the adjacent A91 road has been known to close many times due to roadaccidents, some fatal.
It is also the main arterial route to and from St Andrews withsignificantly higher volumes of traffic than the A915.
However, the pond site doesn’t have a hospital nearby; but does have a large hotel, accesses to car parks, several university buildings including a residence, the number of occupants I would expect to run into hundreds.
I think it is fair to assume, therefore, that the number of buses, other motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians near the pond site would be significantly greater than at Pipeland and leading to a far greater danger if there was a major incident for example, a fire in a science classroom igniting naturally occurring methane from the swamp and detonating a gas main.
This, of course, could cause a flashover setting school buses on fire, igniting the physics, medical and chemistry departments leading to a major release of toxic gases from laboratories and chemical storage areas.
Thankfully in this case, RAF Leuchars has closed, therefore no consideration has to be given to an aircraft falling or accidently dropping munitions onto the school.
Perhaps Annette should be writing and directing an update of Towering Inferno.
Colin Topping. 26 Crathes Close, Glenrothes.
An acceptable route for road
Sir, Re the crematorium road: not content with the desecration of the graves of hundreds of deceased citizens, Perth and Kinross Council have also put the future of the local football club in danger.
St Johnstone invested theproceeds of last year’s Scottish Cup success on the formation of a training pitch atMcDiarmid Park, only for this to be taken away from them by the council.
I can see no reason why the road cannot be constructed around the north of the crematorium. At worst one of the units on the Inveralmond Industrial Estate would have to be relocated.
These are relatively inexpensive to build, a cheap price to pay for an acceptable route for the road.
If a minority can stop the demolition of the City Hall and formation of a square, surely the vast majority can re-route this road.
This is typical of the controlling SNP regime at Perth and Kinross Council, which, despite only having a wafer thin overall majority of councillors, voted to overload every committee with their members. I hope people reflect on this as their man seeks re-election in May.
Tom McLaughlan. 2 Colenhaugh, Perth.
Wrong on so many counts
Sir, Once again the Rev Dr Cameron’s comments have left me angry and totally bemused. This man of the cloth has made a strong appeal for sex offenders to be allowed to get away with their reprehensible crimes because often evidence is only available years after the crime.
He suggests that the UK should introduce a limitation of about 12 years for acts of sexual abuse. He sees theprosecution of historic sex offenders as a waste of money and believes the nation has an obsession with ancientcelebrity sex offences.
He is wrong on so many counts. Thankfully there are only a small number of celebrity offenders. The worrying thing is that as a man of the cloth himself he seems to ignore the fact that a hugely disproportionate number of offenders are clergymen of various denominations.
Sorry, Rev Cameron, but we, the general public, have a zero tolerance to sex abuse, especially where it involves children. We consider money spent prosecuting offenders is money well spent. It doesn’t matter how long ago the offence took place.
If theevidence is there it must be acted upon.
Harry Key. 20 Mid Street, Largoward.
They need to consider others
Sir, With regard to Ian Allan’s letter, “Bin this guilty until proven . . .” (March 18), there are a few points I’d like to make.
I am a cyclist and a motorist and the tone of the letter illustrates exactly why a “presumed liability law” is considered necessary.
It is patently obvious that Mr Allan is of the “cyclists don’t pay road tax” brigade so why should they be “clogging” up the road?
Mr Allan should realise that motor vehicle users do not pay road tax either, they payvehicle excise duty, therevenue from which goes into the general tax “pot”, it is not spent exclusively on the road network.
I agree there is a minority of cyclists who unlawfully cycle on pavements, fail to use lights, etc, but the vast majority of people who choose to cycle on the road, which they are entitled to do, simplywant to be able to make their journey safely.
“Cyclists across the full width of the carriageway?” I don’t know any cyclist who would willingly cycle against oncoming traffic! What Mr Allan obviously means is they are across “his” side of the carriageway. Cyclists taking up the same room as a motorised vehicle shame on them!
Finally, cycle/walking paths. A classic example of how well the government/road consultants consider the needs of cyclists is illustrated by the by-pass that was carried out at the ‘Big Tree Bends’ between Inverkeilor and Montrose.
A minimal additional cost could have allowed cyclists to use the old road instead of having to drag themselves up the long uphill section, putting themselves at risk and holding up following traffic.
Two paths, a couple of feet wide by 20-30 yards long could have easily separated cyclists from the motorised traffic.
The law is not meant to unfairly “penalise” motorists, it is simply meant to make them consider the needs of, and “work” with, all otherroad users. A few seconds extra on a journey is not more important than human lives.
Dave Brimner. Mearns Drive, Montrose.
No need to pull rabbits from hat
Sir, As the political strategist James Carville said, “It’s the economy, stupid” and with record employment, record low inflation, record low interest rates and faster growth than any other advanced economy George Osborne did not need to pull rabbits out of his budget hat.
Allotted the task of aligning the economic and political cycles before May 2015, he managed to do so without “taking public spending back to 1930s” just to where it was before Gordon
Brown began to believe he hadconquered “boom and bust”.
Dr John Cameron. 10 Howard Place, St Andrews.
Catch 22 for Muslims
Sir, Angus Brown’s “personal view” of Islam (Letters March 18), like that of many Christians, is we should stop all references to Christianity versus Islam and then implies we should accept the Islamic interpretation of the Crusades.
History and Islamic Sharia law proves most conclusively, it is not so much Christianity versus Islam as it is Islamversus Christianity, which was the reason for the Crusades.
Again, the murders invarious countries occasioned by false rumours of insult to Mohammed or the Koran have been perpetrated by peaceful Muslims brought to killing point by mainstream Muslim imams and supported by the religious scholars of places such as Egypt’s Al-Azharuniversity scholars, theintellectual pinnacle of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence.
Why no fatwas against the terrorists: from Al-Azhar, or from Mecca, or the Shiaayatollahs of Iran ? The terrorists justify their atrocities by quoting the Koran.
The peaceful Muslims cannot oppose them by arguing over interpretation of a verse because to do so is apostasy punishable by death. By virtue of their belief the “peaceful millions” are silent, and dare not quote the Koran in opposition.
Peaceful Muslims are in a Catch 22 situation: they may disagree with the terror but they cannot disagree with the Koran. Colonel Gadaffi was right. The demographics will win for Islam.
Andrew Lawson. 9 MacLaren Gardens, Dundee.