Letter: Cut traffic menace

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The World Health Organisation has published research showing that in Austria, Switzerland and France, 21,000 people die early every year as a result of air pollution. This is far more than the number killed in road accidents.

The CBI estimates that congestion costs British industry pounds 19bn per year. According to government statistics, poor air quality causes up to 24,000 premature deaths every year in the UK.

But Labour's White Paper New Deal for Transport aimed only to reduce traffic growth, not to reverse it. And in January the Transport Minister, Glenda Jackson, announced that "with these ... policies in place traffic would grow by 37 per cent by 2010 relative to 1990 vehicle kilometre levels".

We call on Mr Blair to ensure that Labour fulfils its election pledge to deliver an absolute reduction in road traffic as an essential element of an integrated transport policy. The Government should set a national target to reduce traffic to 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010.


Director, Civic Trust

And on behalf of CTC, Environmental Transport Association, Friends of the Earth, National Asthma Campaign, National Federation of Women's Institutes, National Society for Clean Air, National Union of Students, Pedestrians' Association, RoadPeace, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Sustrans, Townswomen's Guilds, Transport 2000, Women's Environmental Network, Worldwide Fund for Nature - UK

London SW1