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Readers’ letters: The closure of Kessock Bridge, Iceland’s use of clean energy and a positive experience at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

Kessock bridge
A two-car crash happened earlier this morning on the A9 at Kessock Bridge, which connects North Kessock and Inverness. Image: Sandy McCook / DC Thomson.

Sir, – With reference to the recent statement regarding solutions to the incidents on the Kessock Bridge:

“Police Scotland and Highland Council are seeking to reassure the public that work is under way to find a solution for repeated closures of the Kessock Bridge” (Press and Journal, January 12).

It is terribly sad that anyone should feel that taking their own life is the only solution to their situation.

But Inverness and the north cannot continually be grinding to a halt.

I can save you a great deal of time and money by offering practical solutions.

Long term: Adequate funding for mental health support nationwide.

Medium term: Enclose the walkways on the Kessock Bridge.

Immediately: Have an incident protocol in place so the carriageway away from the incident becomes two-way.

Openings are available at each end of the bridge to facilitate this, and Bear have emergency incident standby staff on duty who could do this.

To prevent “rubbernecking”, three snowplough lorries could be positioned in the outer carriageway as a visual block.

The wider implications of bridge closures need to be prioritised.

How many lives will be lost due to medical staff arriving four or five hours late for their shifts at Raigmore, or emergency vehicles trying to negotiate the huge volume of traffic that has to use the old road?

Carers who cannot get to their clients to put to bed/medicate etc?

People missing appointments for their chemotherapy?

Need I continue?

David M Edes, Brudes Hill, Inverness.

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In 2023, rising sea levels are a reality

Sir, – I recognise the sentiment of Neil Bryce’s response to my letter (Letters, 11 January) but reject some of his inferences.

My mind is open, it delves and checks before making statements, and I apply such to his. I have no real interest in submitting letters, but started on retiral four years ago, which gave me time to read The P&J and see what uninformed rants appeared in letters, which do affect people’s behaviour.

I have seen clips but never read nor watched Al Gore’s book/film, so why would he connect me with that?

My only contention is that human CO2 and climate change are closely linked with over 95% confidence (zero ref to Al Gore), so thinking humanity must respond. How we respond are political and economic arguments, not factual, but they may become existential, which already occurs for many in the Pacific and Bangladesh.

After his raising of Al Gore and a UK High Court ruling, I checked it out.

Apart from its age – so ignoring the last 15 years of world data and disasters – it seems the case was facilitated by one Viscount Monckton, a Ukip far-right candidate, with a view it seems “that climate alarmists should be jailed”, seeking to have Al Gore’s film removed from usage by schools. When I refer to cranks, such is my meaning.

The High Court judge ruled in effect that Al Gore’s film was a projection and so “alarmist” but “not false”. Any false judgment would have banned the film from schools, but it was retained with more explanation around extremes.

One of the nine “Gore extremes” – written to convince a USA audience requiring “impact hits” but reluctantly adjudicated by UK High Court – was about 7m sea level rise if half of ice sheets melted (though the Arctic is already seen as “ice-free” in summer?) but nobody has yet been displaced by sea level rise, said the judge.

In 2023, that is now false.

Seven metres was never going to happen – it was a worst-case warning to get attention – but 3.2 mm/year sea level rise exists since 1993, hence 100mm to date.

This four inches does not hurt us yet in the UK, but in Kiribati, it is devastating, with islands already abandoned due to flood/salinity. They are only 120,000 people, perhaps statistically irrelevant insects by our insular mechanics. If we are human, though, such would be a dreadful reaction!

In the UK, I hope we are all still human and on the same side. There are no “alarmists nor deniers”, just decent, cogniscent humans. If not, we remain hopelessly divided “QAnons vs lefty socialists”.

Mike Hannan, Cults, Aberdeen.

Iceland example of how to plan ahead

Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland.
Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland. Image: Shutterstock

Sir, – I don’t know how many people watched the travel documentary on Iceland (the country, not the supermarket!) narrated and travelled by Alexander Armstrong. He had to take an inter-island ferry to one destination and found his journey very quiet – it was powered by electricity.

I immediately thought how interesting it was that a country the size of Iceland had the foresight to get ahead of the race by investing in clean energy.

The SNP government, as usual asleep at the wheel, had not researched all these countries who have island or coastal populations, who can run efficient and prompt services and treat the outlying communities as part of the tax-paying public, who should be afforded an efficient, regular service akin to any of the mainland public who use train or bus services

I hae ma doots that Hull 802 at Ferguson’s will ever be completed, and I’m sure the Glen Sannox will be plagued with breakdowns, leaving the Western Isles again short-changed.

If Nicola Sturgeon thinks clients will be queuing up at the Ferguson door with orders, the likelihood is not, as clients don’t take kindly to being fobbed off with the deceit of painted-on windows and false funnels to kid people on that progress is further on than fact. By her actions, she has sold a workforce down the river, and I would predict the doors will close in two years’ time, if not before.

Alexander Sutherland, Hilton Drive, Aberdeen.

Strike stance shows priorities

Image: Tayfun Salci/ZUMA Press Wire/Shutterstock

Sir, – Nicola Sturgeon’s pledge to fight proposals for minimum service levels during strikes by key workers highlights her attitude to us, the people of Scotland.

She clearly does not care about critically-ill people getting to hospital on time, workers dependent on trains to get to work, or the education of our children. There are several more I could mention but my question is: “Whose votes is she trying to get this time?”

Yes, workers need the right to protect their incomes – but not at the expense of making others who are not in the same position suffer unnecessary hardship and loss.

The position of the first minister demonstrates that gathering votes for independence once again trumps all other priorities. The people of Scotland who become ill or are working hard for a living do not figure high in her priorities, even if she continues to grandstand and make comments to the contrary.

John Godsman, Kirktown of Fetteresso, Stonehaven.

Union Street vision needed

Sir, – I refer to Don McKay’s letter (EE, January 13). I agree – I don’t know who came up with the ideas for closing streets and parking limits but the way the council are acting they will not attract new business to Union Street. Not when you look at the rental cost and the scandalous rates.

Probably if you were a good-sized business you would find the cost too high and, looking at the potential for customers, you would not be impressed when the council are restricting access so I don’t think you would sell anything heavy.

If they really want to regenerate Union Sreet, reduce the business rates and hire an entrepreneur to help them get there as at the moment they have no workable vision.

Allan Malcolm.

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary visit was a positive one

Aberdeen Royal Infirmary with an ambulance outside
Image: Kami Thomson / DC Thomson

Sir, – It seems that all you hear about these days is the crisis in the NHS services, but I had to attend ARI this week for an X-ray and the service was superb.

My X-ray appointment was for 2pm and I attended five minutes early, to be called almost immediately for the procedure and I was out of the hospital by 2.15pm.

The staff at the hospital were very welcoming and professional and gave me reassurance that they knew exactly what they were doing.

Not all doom and gloom at NHS Scotland.

Dennis F. Grattan, Bucksburn.