Readers’ letters

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What our readers have been writing about this week

Sir – I write in response to two articles in last weeks Cumbernauld News. The first article, being the opposition to parking charges, and the anonymity of Councillors. I agree with both points raised. I have no fear in being identified as being opposed to these charges. I have opposed them at NLC and have submitted an extensive objection.

“Councillor William Goldie Ward 3, Cumbernauld South Response to North Lanarkshire Council consultation – Proposal to introduce off-street parking charges FORMAL OBJECTION: I object to the proposals set out by the Council in its draft parking order. It is clear from correspondence that I have received from a large number of residents in Cumbernauld South that local opinion is firmly against the introduction of parking charges at the Park and Ride car parks in the area. For several years I have monitored the situation at the Greenfaulds Park and Ride and this facility is increasingly being used. Previously I have had discussions with NLC Roads and Transportation over inconsiderate parking on the major routes adjacent to this facility. Many of these inconsiderate motorists now use the facilities at the Park and Ride and the old Greenfaulds car park. I fear that introducing charges will drive motorists back onto the main roads and then after the introduction of the RTO’s (Road Traffic Orders) into the local estates. Parking is already pressured in these locations and I fear that introduction of charges with motorists parking out-with the facilities will be detrimental to the safety of pupils attending Woodlands and Glencryan Schools. Glencryan Road, adjacent to Cumbernauld Station, is also likely to have increased congestion if motorists seek an alternative to this facility. I also have concerns that introduction of parking charges will increase the burden on motorists who have already been badly hit by escalating fuel prices at a time when household budgets are under pressure. Regular complaints from residents indicate concerns over the lack of any discounted options for regular users; the lack of alternative public transport for short journeys and the risk of increasing private vehicle use for longer commuter journeys. The draft parking order will affect the following areas in Cumbernauld South; Greenfaulds Station Car Parks and Cumbernauld Station Car Park. Overall, in Cumbernauld, there is a lack of alternative travel options to the town centre and railway stations. A number of bus services across Cumbernauld have been withdrawn in recent years, reducing alternatives for people wishing to visit Cumbernauld Town Centre or rail stations. There is also a risk that commuters will choose to make their entire journey by car rather than make use of Park and Ride facilities to complete their journeys, leading to increased congestion and pollution at a time when Government targets exist to reduce car use and carbon emissions. I hope that my submission will be given due consideration, Councillor William Goldie”

The anonymity of Councillors in votes within NLC was opposed by my group. I believe that my role as a Councillor is to represent the views of the residents in my area and I have no fear of how I voted on any issue being revealed.

The second concern was realised on Thursday when NLC endorsed North Lanarkshire Leisure’s move away from free dry side activities for schoolchildren over the summer holidays. My group opposed this move. I have contact with families with young people who regularly used these facilities throughout the summer. Household budgets are already strained and this nominal charge may be too much for families with more than one previously eligible family member.

Lanarkshire, as has Scotland, has a childhood obesity problem. These free facilities provided more than just recreation, it helped introduce different sports, it kept our young people off the streets and it introduced them to alternative healthy lifestyles. What does it say when P.E. is mandatory at school that we make it more difficult for our less affluent to access these facilities during the summer? – Yours etc.,

WILLIAM GOLDIE

Ward 3,

Cumbernauld South.

Unfairness of pension proposals

Sir, – I’d like to ask your readers’ to help with our campaign to highlight the unfairness of proposals contained in the UK Government’s Pensions Bill.

We support the move to bring women’s state pension age in line with men’s at 65, but we are objecting to the speed of the increase for women to 66 by 2020, six years earlier than it originally planned. As a result, around 330,000 in Britain women will, at very short notice, have to wait an extra 18 months or longer before claiming their State Pension.

I and many other women across the UK feel this is unfair and will hurt hard-working women, many of whom have worked for 40 years or more. Many of us have worked in relatively low-paid jobs or part-time because of caring responsibilities and these changes will mean real hardship especially to those with poor health.

We are asking MPs to ensure the Pensions Bill is amended to ensure that any increase to the state pension age beyond 65 does not start until at least 2020.

Readers can take action by sending a state pension age campaign postcard to their MP, asking them to stick to the coalition government’s original timetable. To request copies of the campaign postcard, or to find out more about the campaign please visit www.ageuk.org.uk/spa – Yours etc.,

Mrs JEAN CAREY

1 Inverary Drive

Gartcosh

Glasgow

An accident waiting to happen

Sir, – It has come to my attention that the roundabout at the junction of Glasgow Road and Balmalloch Road in Kilsyth is being misused by inconsiderate drivers, mainly works drivers I am sorry to report.

I do speak from experience as my wife and I have had many near misses while turning into Balmalloch Road. Drivers coming from the Queenzieburn direction seem to assume that they have the right of way, if this is so it amazes me that they managed to pass a driving test. Everyone should surely know that traffic approaching a mini roundabout or a main roundabout gives way to traffic from the right.

On June 28, 2011, just before 5pm, my wife had to severely brake to avoid a collision with a white transit van, who rudely suggested that it was his right of way. Wrong, it wasn’t, he was just another bully on the road who thinks he is more important than anyone else.

This is just one of many incidents at this roundabout. An accident is waiting to happen not through a bad road structure but down to crass ignorance.

Perhaps NLC should look at this roundabout and consider replacing it with traffic lights, just a thought. Anyone else think the same? – Yours etc.,

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED