Letter: Asthma linked to fewer buses

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The Independent Online
THE AIR we breathe is now so polluted that record numbers of people are seeking treatment for asthma, yet we have a Government apparently suffering from total inertia ('The day Britain choked', 17 July). Despite the clamour for action, ministers sit idly by, unable or unwilling to extricate themselves from transport policies which undermine public transport.

In the drive to create a commercial network, London's buses have systematically been subjected to frequency reductions and route cuts, resulting in falling patronage. When West End bus routes 38 and 55 were axed from busy Lea Bridge Road in east London, there was an outcry and 40 per cent of passengers abandoned the replacement service. Such loss of patronage has been tolerated with unacceptable complacency by London Transport and government ministers.

As our cities get ever more congested, the resulting pollution takes its toll on our health. Ironically, Whipps Cross Hospital, which raised the alert about the recent asthma epidemic, lies a stone's throw from Lea Bridge Road.

Paul Dogan

London E17