Letter: Transports of joy

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The Independent Culture
Sir: While commuting to London today on the usual overcrowded, delayed and filthy trains and Underground, I experienced a moment of clarity regarding the Government's fabled integrated transport policy.

It appears to me that the policy involves allowing the train operators and London Underground to increase prices to a level where they are no longer bearable to anyone. In case this tactic alone does not work, they will be allowed to continue the gradual rundown of the services until the sheer squalor of the trip becomes too traumatic for the mere electorate.

Coupled with this is the policy of making company cars a conceivable option only to Masters of the Universe (and Government Ministers), and taxing private motoring to a level where it can only be undertaken by the Mistresses of the Masters of the Universe (and Government Ministers).

Since those who will be able to afford private transport will be able to afford four-wheel drive, there will no longer be any need for the maintenance of the highways, thereby protecting governmental funds - a factor increased further by the removal of any financial support to the now defunct public transport system.

The overall effect will be to prevent any travel by anyone to anywhere. This in turn will lead to the development of localised micro-economies as people are forced to remain within cycling distance of their homes for all functions they perform or require.

In time, this will stop all debate over the single currency and European Union, as all trade will be undertaken locally by the bartering of whatever root crop people have been able to cultivate. Television, computers, the Internet: who will need them? What will matter will be whether one can grow enough turnips to pay for a chicken.

D J CAREW-JONES

Maidenhead

Berkshire

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