Letter: Off the roads

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Your leading article states that congestion charging is a deeply flawed policy that hits the poorest hardest. The poorest motorist may be worst affected by it, but these are not generally the poorest people in society.

The really poor do not own cars. A third of all households do not have a car. They could be the big winners of John Prescott's congestion charging proposals. The money raised from congestion charging would be used to improve walking, cycling and public transport - the modes of transport on which poor people most depend.

And if congestion charging produces the expected fall in traffic levels, it is low-income households which will benefit most from the consequent reduction in noise and pollution, as a disproportionate number of poor people live in the vicinity of main roads.

JOHN STEWART

Joint Co-ordinator Lambeth Public Transport Group

London SW9

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