Letter: Curbing the car

Sir: Your article on plans for building more cinemas ("Coming soon - city centre cinema boom", 17 September) fails to mention one very important downside of the boom in multiplexes. They are normally accompanied by a vast number of car parking spaces and generate huge amounts of traffic, with the accompanying problems of pollution and congestion.

There are many examples: 1,200 spaces proposed at a multiplex in Hounslow; 1,500 spaces planned for the cinema development at the old Financial Times building in East London and 900 spaces on the roof of the monstrosity planned for the site of the old Crystal Palace in South London. All of these developments are in areas with good public transport.

According to UCI Cinemas, 84 per cent of their visitors come by car. Providing hundreds more parking spaces will only aggravate the problem. Let's have good cinemas but let's make sure people visit them by bus, train, bike or on foot.


Friends of the Earth, London N1