WE are all aware of the increased fuel costs and related increases in charges.
The Government is taking steps to alleviate these increases for those of us who are most badly affected. However, to use Michael Gove’s phrase, should they not consider “levelling up”?
It is now spring and the days are beginning to warm up. Watching the weather forecast, however, displays the reality of the geography of the United Kingdom. The south-east of England can expect a high of 20C tomorrow whereas Aberdeenshire, not to mention Shetland, may find it difficult to climb into double figures.
I am not suggesting that the Government releases additional money, merely that it considers the distribution of the support across the nation according to need. Assuming a base point of Liverpool, and all points east, then increment the government support gradually moving north, according to postcode and historical temperature conditions. Similarly, moving south from the Liverpool base line, reduce the level of support.
I don’t see this as a political issue; merely the application of logic. Would the Chancellor consider this as a forward move, or does he have too much on his plate at the moment?
Stewart Lightbody, Troon.
AIRPORTS ARE IN WRONG PLACE
SEVERAL correspondents over the last few days have lamented the decline of Glasgow Airport (Letters, April 11 & 13), but a factor that I have not seen mentioned is its geographical location. Both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports are in accidental locations, both are based on military airports, Turnhouse, and Abbotsinch, which just happened to be on the west sides of their respective cities.
This has proved to be a disadvantage to Glasgow and an advantage to Edinburgh; its west Edinburgh location brings it closer to substantial towns like Dundee, Perth, Stirling and Falkirk. On the other hand, to get to Glasgow Airport requires transiting Glasgow by train or road. Even passengers from suburbs on the east side of Glasgow can reach Edinburgh Airport in little more time than it takes to get to Glasgow Airport, especially at certain times of the day.
Many years ago there was a plan to develop a central Scotland airport close to Grangemouth, which was abandoned for very good reasons, but the situation at both airports could be improved by more joined-up thinking on train links to both airports from our major towns and cities, particularly in the case of Glasgow.
John Jamieson, Ayr.
* YOUR correspondents have all made interesting and important comments on the reduced traffic to and from Glasgow Airport.
In 1969 I was presented with my professional qualification diploma by the then managing director of Bells Whisky, Raymond Miquel, and part of the contents of his speech have come back to me from reading the letters from the above contributors.
Mr Miquel was aware of the intended expansion of the road system between Edinburgh and Glasgow and the improvements to Perth and beyond. He strongly suggested that instead of new airports at Turnhouse and Abbotsinch being developed, that there should be one centrally located Scottish airport and he, as I recall, identified some sites including between Falkirk and Harthill. His point was that in addition to the road network, which included the Forth Road Bridge, the main Glasgow to Edinburgh railway with routes northward via the Forth Bridge were all connected and could relatively easily be incorporated into the needed connectivity of a Central Scotland airport. Such a development could easily service all of the main conurbations and he covered more remote connection links from the Northern and Western Isles to the north and south of the mainland by using connecting flights and improving other rail routes to connect to the new airport.
We are where we are and like many infrastructure plans in Scotland this was another opportunity missed. It will never now happen, but what if?
But what about Glasgow Airport? Does Edinburgh become the de facto central Scotland airport connected as it is by road and a tram system?
Ian Gray, Croftamie.
* I REFER to Iain Ratcliffe’s letter (April 13) regarding his plea that Glasgow City Council should interfere in the management of Glasgow Airport.
Glasgow Airport isn’t in Glasgow: why would that council intervene?
Allan McDougall, Neilston.
NO HANG-UPS OVER JURY SERVICE
I HAVE had a totally different experience from Allan C Steele (Letters, April 12) regarding jury citations. A few months ago I received a letter advising me that I had been selected for jury duty, but as I had health issues at the time I phoned the relevant number and a sympathetic lady informed me that I could be excused. Last week, I received another citation, to report to a venue in Dunfermline. I don’t drive, and although my health is somewhat improved, it would have been very difficult for me to arrive in Dunfermline for 10am, using public transport. My telephone call to the Jury Service was again promptly answered by a very pleasant lady who told me I could be excused for the next year, as by that time the court would be sitting again in Stirling.
As for Mr Steele’s complaint about the threat of up to a £1,000 fine if he didn’t respond promptly, I would point out that potential jurors are given seven days to respond, either by telephone, email, or the website. Reminder letters may be sent out to those who have not responded. Given the importance of jury service, I think these arrangements are entirely reasonable.
Ruth Marr, Stirling.
MORE THAN JUST THE MATERIAL
ROSEMARY Goring (“A life free of God is still a life that is full of meaning and joy, The Herald, April 13) limits her mind to the material universe. Christianity offers an opening from such confinement to larger dimensions of existence. Extraordinarily, this originated in the resurrection of Jesus as witnessed repeatedly by his friends and followers and as personally experienced throughout nearly 2,000 years by many who have contributed much to the betterment of the human condition.
Rev Dr Robert Anderson, Dundonald.
IF WE’RE HONOURING FORMER PMs…
I AGREE with Ian W Thomson (Letters, April 13) that Margaret Thatcher was very unpopular, generally, north of the Border. Nonetheless, she was of her time, and not the Iron Lady for nothing.
The prospect of a Margaret Thatcher Day is very contentious now, I agree; but what about Winston Churchill? No “day” has there ever been for him.
Brian D Henderson, Glasgow.