Letters: Why a workplace levy would be unfair on many Scots

PATRICIA Fort (Letters, February 24), like many of her ilk seems to think that it is a simple matter for everyone to ditch the car and travel to work by public transport. It is not.

Not everyone lives in cities. Not everyone has ready access to a reliable public transport network. Many people work unsociable hours which make it impossible for them to use public transport even where it is usually available. Not everyone is able to secure suitable employment near where they live. Many people, especially those with a particular skill set or specialised training, have to travel to find employment. Neither is it a simple matter to up sticks and move house to be nearer work. There may be many reasons, economic, social or practical why a person cannot move house.

My last place of work, based near Prestwick Airport, was one of the biggest, if not the biggest employer in the locality. It employed people from over a very large area. The company’s business was in the aeronautics industry and as such required workers with the necessary skills and or training. I know personally people who travelled daily from Girvan, Sanquhar, Greenock, Kirkintilloch and Balloch and these are just a few examples. Those people already pay a high price in travelling costs. To burden them with a workplace parking levy would simply be unfair.

Everyone I know who travels to work by car is, where possible, in a car sharing pool. This is not (as some people seem to think) a new concept. Car sharing was around long before people considered it to be “green”, it simply made economic sense. As well as car sharing, some car owners would often take non-car owners to work for a modest, mutually agreed contribution towards the travelling costs.

As for working from home, the people referred to above are all skilled shop floor workers. They work hands-on with specialised tools and equipment, most of which is owned by the company and most of it is not portable. Like many in other types of employment, working from home simply is not an option. Not everyone works in an office.

A workplace parking levy would be a totally unfair tax on those for whom public transport or working from home is simply not an option.

As someone who is now retired I have no personal interest in this matter.

David Clark, Tarbolton.

* I AM afraid Patricia Fort makes a very poor argument in favour of workplace parking. Most main roads now have bus lanes which cause tailbacks of cars, more pollution and damage to the outside lane which takes all the weight of the traffic. Unused cycle lanes are even worse in this regard.

At a time of massive increase in the cost of living, a workplace parking charge is the last thing we need. The money raised will not even be spent on roads, but likely on one of the SNP’s obsessions which are usually only of interest to a minority.

J Carr, Glasgow.


I THANK William Durward (Letters, February 24) for his observations on my musings (Letters, February 23) on legalising currently illegal drugs. Funnily enough his comments about alcohol abuse actually make my point for me.

It is indisputable that while the majority are moderate in their indulging, alcohol is abused by a significant minority of the public to their detriment; however, the wave of obesity sweeping the country indicates that availability of food is causing similar problems to those unable to control their gastronomic urges. Perhaps in their interests we should restrict access to fish suppers and other fast foods?

Mind you, I think Westminster’s austerity policies already have that matter in hand.

David J Crawford, Glasgow.


I HEARTILY agree with Ian W Thomson (Letters, February 24) when he writes that Prince William already has a USP and goes on to say “that is that he is not Prince Charles … Prince Harry … or Prince Andrew”. His reasons are given.

Could I add another, and for me the main plus point for Prince William, and that is the delightful Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge? What a lovely person she is and how well she has taken on her public duties, with charm and grace and a wonderful sense of fun.

Long may Queen Elizabeth reign but eventually we have William and Kate to maintain the monarchy. It is rather a comforting thought as, looking at the presidential heads of state elsewhere on this currently confused planet, there is precious little in their favour. The Cambridges are nicely growing into their future role and are making this person feel comfortable being British.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.


ANDY Stenton (Letters, February 22) refers to the Royal Bank of Scotland being formed in 1724.

When I left school I joined the Union Bank of Scotland in Mount Florida and had to change my account from the Clydesdale and North of Scotland Bank to have my salary paid into my new account. To obtain membership of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland one had to study and the first subject was the History of Banking in Scotland, in which it clearly states that the Royal Bank of Scotland was founded by royal decree in 1727, not 1724.

Richard A McKenzie, Glasgow.


AS we reach late February and the days lengthen, I always find it aggravating that we have to wait another full month until the clocks go forward. In this country, we suffer from a terrible waste of evening daylight in the month of March. Daylight in the morning has improved considerably by now. Children going to school in gloomy light is no longer a problem. Putting the clocks forward at the end of February (instead of the end of March) would be a welcome tonic to us all. We would also save on our electricity bills.

We were unable to contemplate this when we were in the EU as they set the dates for clock change. That problem is no more.

I am convinced that this small change would be a surefire vote winner.

John Macnab, Loans, South Ayrshire.

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