Letter: Taken for a ride

Letter: Taken for a ride

Sir: The Heathrow Express operator is talking of increasing the already- excessive pounds 10 fare ("Fares to rise on costliest railway", 2 June), which a Labour government has permitted despite its impact on encouraging road traffic while denying access to those on less than a ministerial salary.

The service appears to be excellent even if its price has deterred me from personally trying it on recent visits to London.

Use is low because for a family a taxi is cheaper, as is long-term airport car parking for most brief vacation trips.

For individuals, the Piccadilly Line is less expensive, while being driven and dropped off by a family member is often cheapest of all.

What nonsense for Sir John Egan to say that "Americans don't think trains are for respectable people". It's more a case that Americans don't like being taken for a ride.

It is time the Blair government learnt that effective transport services are critical to the healthy functioning of the economy.

That means that the Government must be instrumental in ensuring the provision of adequate public transport infrastructure and in regulating the pricing of services to ensure that they are attractive as well as accessible to all.

J E D RICHMOND

Harvard University

Cambridge,

Massachusetts

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