One of the important aspects of working for a lobbying and support group such as FoFNL is to put pen to paper to bring vital matters to public attention via the national press. The Herald has a good record for publishing such material and this is a very valuable way to attract the attention of the public and the politicians. Here are two such letters that were published in that paper:
You report that the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee of MSPs has written to Phil Verster, managing director of the ScotRail Alliance ("ScotRail urged to aid travellers", The Herald, August 3).
While it is never a bad thing to let senior people know that something is amiss, the MSPs would be better to urge Scottish ministers to reverse the damage done by Alastair Darling ten years ago when he wantonly abolished the Rail Passengers' Committee for Scotland (RPCS). I was its last convener and at the time tried to persuade the then Executive to set up a statutory Scottish body to take its place and to continue to hold the rail industry to account.
My pleas fell on deaf ears. But now we have a Scottish Government unconstrained by what might be happening south of the Border. So I ask again: please will you legislate to set up a new RPCS with many eyes and ears from all parts of Scotland, which will have statutory powers. Passenger Focus, the 2005 replacement for all GB's passengers, has far fewer human resources than are needed, especially now that its remit has been expanded to include buses and trunk roads.
It is good to see that Invernessians are so cheerful ("Inverness named as happiest place to live", The Herald, August 6 ). People in (and wishing to travel to) the Highlands will be smiling even more broadly when Transport Scotland announces details of the next phase to improve speeds and capacity on the single track Highland Main Line (HML) railway.
Hopefully, Transport Scotland will go further and announce that the HML will be the next electrification scheme once EGIP (the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project) is completed. Electrification over such long steep gradients offers the biggest journey time reductions anywhere in Scotland. As the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board said in the 1950s, it would be transformational.
Indeed it would, and not before time for the Scottish economy.