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For whom the road tolls

LETTERS

Why does Jackie Whitelaw believe that tolled 'go faster' lanes on motorways would be more popular or more productive in raising revenue for public transport than other forms of congestion charging (NCE 28 February)?

Also why does she feel it is so important to subject our degraded environment to yet another surge of road building before we finally accept the inevitable travel constraints demanded by the imperatives of sustainability?

Moreover, why must environmental policy always be dictated by the lifestyle choices of those who inflict the most environmental damage? Why are their 'quality of life' issues any more meritorious than those whose neighbourhoods are daily despoiled by traffic nuisance and noxious emissions?

It is depressing that, once again, the most fundamental transport issue has been largely ignored in the recent congestion charging debate - the relationship between travel demands and spatial planning.

That we must never discourage car trips economically unless we can always provide alternative transport systems of comparable cost, convenience and capacity is a highly dangerous and impractical proposition.

It should be challenged politically and intellectually by all responsible professionals with any concern for the state of the global environment.

Brian Hanson, Architects and Engineers for Social Responsibility, brianhanson@lycos.co.uk

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