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Railing against opinion


The comments made by Sir Alastair Morton comparing the relative safety of travel by road and rail (NCE 30 November) do not stack up.

It would be interesting to compare the fatality rate for each of these travel modes per person-mile travelled per annum. I acknowledge that the number of road deaths exceeds that of rail over any given period, but then so does the number of miles travelled by road.

However, the choice that I am faced with is this. When travelling by car, I am surrounded by contemporary technology to assist my safe passage; air-bags, crumple-zones, side impact protection bars and a seat belt.

I am also driving the vehicle and can do so according to the prevailing conditions. I can manage myself out of potential accidents.

On the train (SWT - rolling stock circa 1965), I am reliant on sixties technology. That is, wooden carriages full of sharp protrusions, tracks falling to pieces, signals that fail or get ignored and anxious crews trying to make up time. I might as well belt along blindfold in a Ford Anglia.

Travelling by train does not appear safe to me.

Nick Jones, Fleet, Hants

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