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15:23 UK time, Monday, 24 March 2008

Re rail disruption and its timing (Friday letters): There has been plenty of criticism of the scheduling of the repairs but I have haven't heard anybody suggest when there is a good time to do these major improvements. A Bank Holiday which affords a four-day period in which they can be done is preferable to Monday to Thursday is it not? Plenty of notice was given so please stop standing there wringing your hands and make other arrangements.
Derek Simpson, Little Sutton, England

Denis MacShane says, on the prospect of a free vote on the new Human Embryology bill, that "if every difficult issue with ethical implications is a matter for free votes, then democracy, Parliament, and the purpose of government becomes meaningless." So, according to him, is only voting to the party line in matters of ethics democratic?
Sharon, Portsmouth, UK

Fuel prices are high, says your feature on the decline of the petrol station. Given the levels of taxation, instead of "So why are petrol stations closing?" shouldn't that be "That's why the Government isn't closing?"
Rob Falconer, Llandough, Wales

Blimey, I hadn't realised that Robert Redford was running a newsagents these days, although I suppose he has to make ends meet when he isn't filming or organising Sundance (Cigarette display ban considered).
Sue, London

Re the man who monitors his heart condition through his TV, I was surprised to come across the statement that heart failure is "a condition that causes breathlessness and ankle swelling..." Surely ankle swelling is not a particularly worrying or noticeable symptom if your heart is in the process of failing?
Teresa, Norwich

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