REGARDING the estimate of the number of attendees at independence marches, there seems always to be a large discrepancy between that given by the organisers and that given the police.

For example, for the Edinburgh march last year these numbers were, I think, 100,000 against 30,000, and on Saturday’s Aberdeen march, 12,000 against 4000-5000. To settle this issue I am sure that an accurate estimate could easily be made from aerial imaging of the marchers en route, as might be obtained from a police or traffic helicopter. It would only require the application of image analysis software.

READ MORE: Yes marchers light up streets of Aberdeen

Even at a simplistic level, a decent estimate can be quickly made. On Saturday the march filled the whole of Union Street, that is, the head of the march had reached the Mercat Cross on the Castlegate while the back of the march was entering Union Street from Albyn Place, a distance of 1400m. With a street width of about 15m, and allowing an area of two square metres per person, the attendance can be estimated as 10,500, which points to the organisers’ estimate being much nearer the truth than that of the police.

Ken Gow

WELL done to Yes2 Stonehaven and Mearns. Your event, A New Scotland?, on Sunday was exactly the kind of event we need to win greater support for independence. Your format, with speakers on climate, currency, a Scottish constitution and other subjects, helped provide the answers past No voters need to win them over.

The national convention and the wider Yes campaign must now take the initiative to increase the support we need. The SNP must not be targeted as “the Nats at it again” nor should they, as many more have said in these pages before, be the ones to lead the campaign and end up being the easy target. We must celebrate the diversity of our alliance for indy openly from day one of picking up the baton, with the aim of taking the 52% to a far healthier 60% in the polls for independence. Maybe the evenings before the AUOB marches would be perfect times for such forums. Deliberately targeting undecided or No voters from 2014 has to be the aim. It is time.

Tony Martin

YES, R Fullerton (Letters, August 19), I along with thousands of others joined the SNP as a means for Scotland to gain independence; I did not join the Stop Brexit Happening Party. It’s high time the leadership focused on independence and let the party members in on the plan. Is there a plan?

Cameron M Fraser, Bannockburn
via text

WITH regard to Mr McLean’s letter of August 17, while I suffer from neither colitis nor Crohn’s disease, my bladder is showing signs of my age.

If Scotrail persist in this iniquitous plan, they should at least install barriers that take contactless card payments as well as their antiquated coin-in-the-slot machines.

They may argue that such machines are not “cost-effective” for small transactions, but many enlightened small establishments take contactless payments for similar small amounts nowadays.

There are few things worse than going from shop to shop in a station (with my legs crossed!) to ask for change, most of whom refuse to supply it.

Alan Jardine

ON Thursday this week City of Edinburgh Council will decide whether unelected religious nominees should continue to have voting power on its Education Committee.

This issue is being considered in councils throughout Scotland. Edinburgh Secular Society and our colleagues in The National Secular Society have written to MSPs and councillors urging them to end this anachronism.

Religious groups have no special training as educators and often their own ideological agendas. It is an affront to democracy to hold voting rights when you are neither voted for, nor can you be voted off.

Neil Barber
Edinburgh Secular Society

I HAVE to agree with Neil Cameron’s comments regarding Pars fans singing at Celtic Park on Saturday (Boyd’s comment was only real Celtic disaster, August 19).

The effort both on and off the field was first-class. Unfortunately it was marred by the use of unacceptable vocabulary in some songs.

I am the first to object when we go elsewhere in Glasgow and encounter such “guff”, and to hear it from our own support was disappointing to say the least.

The main body of the choir were younger lads fired up with alcohol, but that is simply no excuse.

I apologise to Glasgow Celtic FC and their supporters.

William Oliphant
via email