ON Monday, May 27, I travelled from Glasgow Queen St to Inverness, where I live. I had bought a first-class ticket. There were two carriages on the train. There was no first-class carriage. There were no seat reservations. The train was packed to overflowing, many people had luggage, lots of luggage. There was standing room only before we’d even left Glasgow.

An employee came back with a trolley. It didn’t move for the entire trip to Perth, where a man was waiting with a freshly stocked trolley, but, as the first trolley disembarked, he stayed put, because it was physically impossible to get on to the train.

At Stirling, lots more passengers boarded – resulting in utter chaos. A woman stood beside me – I was lucky, I got a seat – with her dog at her feet all the way to Aviemore. Any passengers wishing to join the train at Perth etc, or indeed get off, had to do a fair bit of clambering to reach the exit.

What about the toilets? Well, who knows if or when anyone used them. To make matters worse, someone complained to the guard that it was too hot, with which I would disagree, so she forced her way through the standees and opened a window on one side and one on the other, resulting in an unpleasant draft all the way to Inverness.

READ MORE: ScotRail says fewer trains are being delayed or cancelled

Yes, I got a refund of the difference between first and ordinary fare, yes, I wrote a strong letter of complaint to Glasgow ScotRail and have had so far not had the courtesy of a reply. I am over 80 years old. If I hadn’t got in quick and nabbed a seat, was I supposed to stand for three and a half hours? Please don’t tell me ScotRail says passengers are seeing better service (ScotRail says passengers are seeing better service, June 24).

Elsapeth Kidd

IN your Saturday edition (Scottish economy subdued ‘until the fog of Brexit has lifted’, June 22), you quote SNP Finance Secretary Derek Mackay thus: “The Scottish Government has been clear and consistent that the best opportunity for the future wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland is to stay in the EU.”

READ MORE: Scottish economy subdued 'until the fog of Brexit has lifted'

I beg to differ. Why not go for Norway-style independence, with a 200-mile fisheries zone ? Norway is now the world’s second-biggest fish exporter (by value) after China. And according to the BBC website’s “EU Budget 2019”, every soul in the UK is forgoing some £50 a year as our net contribution to the EU, i.e. maw, paw and the two kids are about £200 poorer. All that before they are subjected to the over 12,000 EU tariffs which constitute a blatant protectionist racket.

To get independence over the line, we must not alienate EU-sceptic nationalists. So please, SNP leaders, cut out the EU eulogies; they could mark the difference between victory and another defeat.

George Morton

THERE is much waste in Scotland. Look beyond the landfill and plastics problem. There is a waste in human, community and land potential. Look at our “wild” open landscape managed to protect our iconic grouse species.

Managed to produce enough numbers to destroy in the name of sport. A wee bonus for these sportsmen: stumble upon a mountain hare in your sights and you are at liberty to shoot the guts out of another icon. Come up to Scotland and pay to destroy our icons in this far away wasteland. Pay whom? Probably someone who’s resulting taxes are declared elsewhere. That our “wild” spaces once supported many communities is forgotten today. It can do again many fold. This is the story of today’s Scotland: doff yer cap, welcome the Laird and assist (for a small fee) the removal of another wee bit of Scotland.

Peter Barjonas

WHAT a striking photo on the Yes DIY page of Saturday’s edition (June 22)! The wee boy advancing across a field while carrying, no – wielding! – a large Saltire flag that’s almost as big as him symbolises for me the hope and confidence of the indy movement. He not only represents the future but seems to look to it and stride towards it with single-minded intent (I realise I’m projecting here, but bear with me!).

READ MORE: AUOB heading to historic seaside town for march

I see the glimpses of blue sky among the white clouds above him not only echoing the Saltire’s colours but also evoking both the precious opportunities and the big challenges our newly independent country will face. But the wee yin is unstoppable! All credit to the photographer, whoever he or she is. It’s a brilliant composition that deserves to be used again – above all, it’s calling out to be enlarged to make a big YES poster.

Mo Maclean

PLEASE can The National readers support the independence march on Saturday July 6 in Ayr. This “honest toun” really needs a boost having suffered the demolition of the lower end of the town, the closure of many shops and the loss of many traditional work opportunities. Fish market gone, airport mothballed and many other light industries gone. Once a pretty, bustling town now needs our help. Come aw ye.

Aileen Park
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