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Readers’ letters: Streets behind with the social distancing policy

Union Street, Aberdeen. Picture by Kath Flannery.
Union Street, Aberdeen. Picture by Kath Flannery.

Sir, – For how much longer does Aberdeen City Council intend continuing with the social distancing measures on Union Street?

The pavements are already wide enough and nobody uses the extra width. Reducing Union Street to one lane in each direction simply slows traffic flow (including buses) to a snail’s pace. We have retail problems in the city centre but slow, congested traffic doesn’t help.

Keep the section between Bridge Street and Market Street until Christmas if necessary, but it is past time that the rest returned to normal.

D McKendrick, Aberdeen.

No alternative to a referendum

Sir, – One week before the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 my eldest daughter Bethany celebrated her eighth birthday and in less than a year gets to vote in Scottish elections – but not the general election, scheduled for May 2024.

My youngest daughter Megan becomes a teenager on October 25 and it will be three years until voting in Scottish elections but five years until able to vote in general elections.

Unionists like Allan Sunderland say that folk like myself have not accepted the result of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 but aside from, in essence, rearranging a few deckchairs on the Titanic by cutting the number of Scottish seats by two and angering Douglas Ross MSP by getting rid of his Moray constituency and trialling English Votes For English Laws, they have not come up with an alternative to independence in seven, getting on for eight, years.

No change to voting age, no to reform or abolition of House of Lords, no to electoral reform and imposition of single transferable vote.

Just Vote No for No Change should have been the slogan of Better Together in 2014 because aside from tinkering with the devolution settlement that is all they have delivered.

I have believed in Scottish independence since leaving Waid Academy in 1990 whereas Baroness Davidson of Lundin Links has doubtless been a unionist since leaving the now-defunct Buckhaven High School, which merged with Kirkland High School to become Levenmouth Academy.

So, if unionists want the Union to continue maybe they can compromise and go for radical reform in way of proportional representation for UK elections, reform or abolition of House of Lords, some form of federalism – or maybe they are nationalists in disguise and actually want Scottish independence.

Peter Ovenstone, Orchard Grove, Peterhead.

Pittodrie’s bizarre stance on vaccines

Sir, – As a lifelong supporter I am dismayed by Aberdeen FC’s response to the vaccine certification requirements.

The club appears to be unwilling to accept the rule that in a democracy governments legislate and people and businesses are then expected to comply with the legislation.

When the legislation came into force they did not use the Ross County match to trial their compliance procedures and are now seeking to circumvent the legislation by estimating below 10,000 attendances at the Hearts and Hibs games.

Clearly, their estimates are nonsense.

We have 9,000 season-ticket holders, Dons fans who are not season ticket holders and away fans to accommodate.

When was the last time there was a crowd of less than 10,000 at Pittodrie?

Having failed to develop and test compliance procedures in the first three home games, can we now expect crowds for the rest of the season’s games to be also restricted? Bizarrely, the club has now to persuade fans not to attend matches.

Their reluctance to adhere to the vaccine standards judged by the government as necessary for the safety of spectators will help, but they will also need to stop selling tickets for future games and may be faced with having to turn away angry fans. The decision to limit crowds rather than comply with the legislation reflects badly on their stated ambition of growing the club.

It is particularly hard to understand why the club is alone in making this choice, given their investment in computer systems which could be used to minimise the administrative burden.

Robert Masson, Lawsondale Avenue, Westhill.

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