Letter: Asthma link

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The Independent Online
YOUR articles on pollution from cars and readers' reactions show how necessary are major changes in the way we live, and how difficult it will be for many to accept them. The solution, though, is comparatively simple: a switch of investment from roads to rail, with some extra subsidy for public transport.

This should be accompanied by a phased increase in petrol and diesel tax. John Whitelegg of Lancaster University estimates that motorists pay only 27 per cent of the more obvious costs they cause, and so are subsidised annually to the tune of about pounds 1,000 a car. So, over and above the other benefits, we could even pay less tax.

May I also congratulate the DoE's Chief Scientist on an excellent piece of sophistry (Letters, 17 October) - that pollution monitoring should be put where people spend most of their time.

M B Weller

Crawley, West Sussex

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