Readers’ Letters

Crosstalk 12 1
Crosstalk 12 1

Find out what our readers think of the stories making the Gazette headlines

Sign or eyesore

Dear Ed, – There is much concern that ScotRail has removed from Lanark Station all the English platform signs and has replaced them with bilingual Lanark/Lannaigh’ ones as it has done in all other stations along the Argyll Line with a Gaelic nomenclature alongside the original English name of the station.

There can be no justification whatsoever for this.

It is difficult not to conclude that ScotRail wished to curry favour with the SNP government’s lavishly funded sacred cow, the Gaelic Board quango, which is determined, one way or another, to force Gaelic down our throats regardless of the fact that the Gaelic language in Scotland was not indigenous.

On the contrary, Gaelic arrived from Ireland after Old English had become one of several languages in use in Scotland. However, by the late Middle Ages these languages had been more or less supplanted by “Scots” (the language of Robert Burns) so much so that by the 16th Century King James VI had no hesitation in declaring Scots to be the national language-not Gaelic - of Scotland.

Costly to the taxpayer to erect and maintain, bilingual signs in public places, whether English/Gaelic or English/Scots, soon become an eyesore not only that, to the onlooker, whether on foot or driving, there is no doubt that they can confuse and/or distract, especially if he or she is a tourist.

As there is not a Gael who cannot speak fluent English, we do not need bilingual English/Gaelic signs in public places.

Yet, for how long are we going to put up with such littering our railways and stations - and our roads too if we should be foolish enough to allow this to happen in Clydesdale.

Sadly, it is already happening in a few parts of South Lanarkshire. – Yours etc.,

DR WILLIAM W GROVES,

Staikhill,

Lanark.

Never on time

Dear Ed, – As a regular user of the bus service between Biggar and Edinburgh, I have to take issue with the comments of the SPT spokesperson quoted in last week’s Gazette. (December 5).

It is claimed that “the 100 service is running reliably”, but I have yet to be on a bus that has got me to work on time since Stagecoach took over, the buses being anything from 10 to 30 minutes late on arrival at Biggar in the morning, and getting progressively more delayed by the time they reached Edinburgh.

I am sure that the poor souls, including school children, who have waited for 30 minutes or more in the cold and dark, only to find the bus going by them because there is no room, will not think it a very reliable service.

I have also been told by other bus users that some timetabled buses have not run at all, or else been so late that passengers have given up the wait, and for this appalling service, the price of a return ticket from Biggar to Edinburgh has risen by over 24%.

So the claim that “our customer feedback has been positive since they took over”, I find astonishing, as no doubt would all the regular bus users who have been complaining in no uncertain terms to each other, to the new bus operator and SPT, to their various elected representatives, and to the Traffic Commissioner.

I also note that the SPT spokesperson said that “the previous contractor was terminated due to poor performance”.

The previous contractor may not have been perfect, but the current service seems to me to be considerably worse. – Yours etc.,

JEAN OLIVER,

43 Knocklea,

Biggar,

Time to object

Dear Ed, – I hope that Ron Harris’ article ‘Fight for scenic gem begins’ in last week’s Gazette will spur all those, who have supported the SOL campaign, into action.

SOL have well over 6,700 signatories to send to South Lanarkshire’s Planning Department, but now need as many of those and others to write directly to the Head of Planning and Buildings Standards at First Floor Montrose House, Hamilton ML3 6LB to lodge their objections on an individual basis (Ref C/L12/0524 Hyndford Quarry, Lanark. Extension to mineral extraction operations).

This will add greatly to the impact of the campaign signatory list, which could be regarded as a single objection if the planning Department so chose.

CEMEX have chosen their moment well.

The run-up to Christmas and the New Year will, inevitably, be foremost in all of our hearts and minds.

I, therefore, urge all of us who clearly recognise what is at stake here, not to miss out on the opportunity to save the scenic area of the former Bonnington Parkland.

If CEMEX’s application to extend their quarrying activities into this protected area is successful, we will lose yet another Area of Great Landscape Value.

It will be irreplaceable, regardless of CEMEX’s ‘sensitive restoration and enhancement‘ assurances.

Judge the accuracy of this by what you see across the already ‘restored’ areas within the existing quarry boundaries: in my and others’ view, a shallower, flat and uninteresting landscape, significantly different from that which was there before. – Yours etc.,

KENNETH J RANCE,

Long Row,

New Lanark

No good for us

Dear Ed, – Does it really matter what or how the people of Lesmahagow feel about these hedgehogs?

The powers that be will go ahead anyway!

If we were a thriving community, by all means, but our village is struggling in this economic climate and not doing too well.

I have no problems with the design; in fact, if they were in a national country park they would look quite good, but they certainly will not benefit or improve our village in any way, shape or form.

The money that is being spent on these hedgehogs could be put to far greater use within the village itself.

Twenty thousand pounds may not be enough to resolve all our issues but would go some way to help.

Go ahead, let them build their hedgehogs...and we will watch our village decline. – Yours etc.,

JAN MITCHELL,

Priory Avenue,

Lesmahagow.