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Round the bend

It really surprises me why drivers park on the bad sweeping bend on Powdermill Brae, Birkenside, mostly to use the facilities of the general store on the bend.

Could they not use a bit more savvy and realise the dangers they are causing. I’ve seen many near misses but one day that may not be the case and one may suffer severe injuries or maybe even a fatality.

Then there is those drivers who seem to think they are infallible, they leave the shop and walk in front of their vehicles to reach the driver’s door.

The thing is they never give a thought about any vehicles approaching, they just walk out. If these idiots were injured, is it going to be the blameless driver to take the blame?

Another dangerous habit is driving with a mobile phone glued to their ear, fools this lot and even although they know the penalty they still persist in doing it, causing danger to every driver who is on the same road.

I personally would like to see double yellow lines painted all the way round the large sweeping bend at Powdermill Brae.

Alex Hutchison

Dundas Gardens, Gorebridge

Weather prediction

In September 2011 I was listening to a weather expert discussing the oncoming winter.

He said that bad winters come in “glitches” which could be two years, three years etc after each other. Remembering that we had two severe winters on the trot before then, the expert went on to state that the first mild winter we got would be followed by 20 other mild ones.

To add credence to this prediction I know that in 1986 snow gates were installed on either side of Soutra Hill on the A68 and on either side of Middleton Moor on the A7, both in Midlothian.

Those gates were not closed half a dozen times between 1986 and 2008.

Last winter was a mild winter and I am optimistic of 20 more to follow and I am paying no attention to the severe weather predictions for this winter in some tabloid newspapers.

Jim Michael

Vogrie Road, Gorebridge

BT awards

BT has launched a search across Midlothian to find and reward young people who are helping older generations to embrace the internet.

We’d like your readers to tell us about local schools and children aged under 16 who’re dedicating time and effort to teaching older people basic IT and internet skills.

For many of us, going online is second nature. But those who lack the basic skills to feel confident on the web could miss out on potentially life enhancing benefits.

The BT Internet Rangers Awards seek to recognise young people who are helping to bridge that generational and digital divide. Past winners have shown us that anyone can reap the benefits of the internet, no matter what their age or circumstances.

Four UK national winners will each scoop an iPad or laptop and £100 worth of IT vouchers. Schools helping older people in their local community to make use of the internet could win cash prizes worth up to £4,000.

If you’d like to nominate an individual or school who is making a difference, please complete an online application form at www.bt.com/internetrangers before Friday 2 November.

Brendan Dick

Director, BT Scotland

Free insulation

Now Scottish Power has followed British Gas in announcing a price rise, its gas and electricity customers can expect their domestic fuels bills to go up by 7% from December 3.

Now more than ever, Energy Saving Scotland urges readers to take up the government’s offer and install free loft, cavity wall and/or under-floor insulation.

Let me say that again: home insulation, completely free in the Lothians.

The Scottish Government has allocated £12.5 million to local authorities for the Universal Home Insulation Scheme and the only catch is that the current funding is due to end on December 31.

The scheme is not means-tested. The only condition is that the property must be suitable for the type of insulation available, which is determined by a free no-obligation survey.

Even calling for advice is free. Phone the Home Energy Scotland Hotline on 0800 512 012 and one of our advisers will call you back.

Insulating your loft can save you £175 per year and cavity wall insulation can save you £135. What’s not to like?

Chris Morris

Centre Manager, Energy Saving Scotland advice centre South East