From our postbag

Sir, – Having watched streets lined with people throughout the UK for the Olympic Torch, what will we see when the torch comes to Queensferry? In a word nothing.

It will arrive by car, enter Hopetoun House grounds and be paraded in front of West Lothian councillors and their cronies. There are well over 1000 children at school in Queensferry. Fifty have been invited to this event.

The torch will be taken from Hopetoun to Broxburn where the streets will be lined by well wishers. While this happens there will be a party at Hopetoun for those invited.

If you think we can walk up to the road bridge to see the torch then think again. The bridge will be totally closed. Again, our selfish councillors are looking after number one. – Yours etc.,


Linn Mill, South Queensferry

Sir, – I write in response to last week’s article on the Olympic torch visit to Hopetoun.

I realise that, by the time this gets printed, the event will have taken place and I am sure it will have been a huge succes.

However, I do want to take this opportunity to clarify a few points which may not have been communicated effectively resulting in some negative feelings locally.

The Hopetoun House visit, was created as a smaller-scale gathering after a busy morning and before moving on to the major public event at Broxburn.

The torch’s visit here was allocated a sum of money by the council and, in keeping with the Trust’s educational objective, it was agreed to spend this on transporting 400 children to Hopetoun to experience this. The charity has further subsidised this event from its own budget.

While South Queensferry residents consider Hopetoun to be a local attraction, it falls under West Lothian Council’s area so it became a secondary ‘regional’ venue next to Broxburn.

We did anticipate some concerns, so we asked that South Queensferry children could be part of the celebration – clearly we could not invite every child much as we would have liked to.

We and the West Lothian torch organising group have requested through LOCOG that the torch should be shown when passing down the Builyeon Road.

We understand this is unlikely due to time constraints, however, as I write this letter, we have not received an answer.

This was never designed to be a public event at Hopetoun, however, any member of the public who did turn up was made welcome as with all our events.

Hopetoun House enjoys a good relationship with the local community; we very much hope this will continue. – Yours etc.,


General Manager,

Hopetoun House Preservation Trust

Sir,– I was disappointed at the headline in last Friday’s Journal and Gazette.

I am amazed the organisers of the Olympics had the brass neck to deny any community a view of the torch relay in their area and disappointed it is my community that is going to suffer this ignominy.

How dare they have an invitation-only event and prevent the locals from joining in?

The torch relay was designed to bring the Olympics to the whole of Britain and make it feel more inclusive for those remote from the capital.

The tax payers of South Queensferry have all contributed to the games and do not deserve to be dismissed in such a insulting manner. – Yours etc.,


by email

More Letters to the Editor on P27

Sir,– How predicable that cyclist Richard Toleman rushes to chastise me when I said that cycling on the pavement in the High Street annoyed me. (Journal and Gazette, June 8).

He said that I wanted them “banged up” which is stretching poetic licence a bit far.

His rant then takes up his favourite hobbyhorse of illegal parking but I suggest that the resident parking warden does a great job.

Mr Toleman says that he can understand “why the less confident cyclist” does cycle on the pavement.

The cyclists on the pavement I have encountered are very confident and switch from pavement to road to pavement at speed and crash the red lights.

If there is such a creature as a “less confident cyclist” then get off your bike and push it.

Mr Toleman it is you who is missing the point.–Yours etc.,


Springfield Road,


Sir,– Clark Cross makes a very valid point about cycling on the pavement (Journal & Gazette, June 1). However, on the subject of pavements, I feel motorists parking on pavements is a greater concern and danger to pedestrians. I realise pavement parking on the High Street is permitted, and this does not cause any problems for pedestrians; however, motorists park on pavements in many other streets unnecessarily. Not only is it an obstruction, it’s dangerous. If there is not room on the street to park, it is not acceptable to use the pavement. If Clark Cross proposes a £500 fine for cycling on the pavement, I suggest a £2,500 fine for illegally parking on the pavement.

We should also be asking why people choose to cycle on the pavement. When you stand and look at the traffic volumes using the High Street, I can understand why some people, particularly the young and inexperienced, use the pavement rather than the road, when riders have vehicles constantly passing inches from them at excessive speeds, and have to move in and out of the traffic flow to pass parked vehicles. The 20mph speed limit on the High Street, particularly at the West End, needs to be policed (speed cameras?) – in the same way they view all speed limits. drivers seem to think the ‘20’ signs refer to the minimum speed they should travel.–Yours etc.,


Sir,– As a resident of Bo’ness I am increasingly concerned with the behaviour of groups of youths in Kinniel Woods. On many occasions this year I have been walking in the woods which form part of Kinniel Estate, to be met by groups of youths who seem intent on ruining the place for everyone else. The most common complaint is fire starting, and associated mess, around the bases of trees throughout the woods and around the curling pond, which is a haven for wildlife in the area.

It is not possible to list all of the problems with this type of behaviour, but some of them are - scores of trees being burned from the ground up, smouldering areas of ground where fires have been started and let to go out of control, huge amounts of litter such as broken bottles, cans, food wrappers, etc., groups of youths openly drinking in public, fishing tackle (hooks), bait and rubbish left around the curling pond. On occasion items such as tents and sleeping bags have been left after large drinking sessions in the woods. Around these items are always several burned trees.

So, this is a problem for the people that use the estate, whether that be walkers, families on walks, dog owners, horse owners, fishermen (who are being given a bad name by those that leave mess and irresponsibly burn things such as canoes), the fire service who have to repeatedly visit the woods, the police who are sometimes called, parents whose children are hanging about with fire-starters and drinkers.

When the sun is shining this is a daily issue, a little less so when the sun is in hiding. Is it not about time that the people officially in charge of looking after our community started tackling this problem head on before something happens, like a huge fire, injuring wildlife, dogs, or people.–Yours etc.,