Letter: Battle of Heathrow

Sir: Polly Toynbee's article (13th October) on the planning inquiry for Terminal 5 at Heathrow makes much of the environmental impact and the role of tourists but ignores business travellers.

I run a small consulting company designing theatre buildings. With a team of 35 people, we work internationally - 43 countries in the last twenty years. We and our clients need good, frequent and reliable airline connections. We are not a wealthy mega-corporation with deep pockets.

Ms Toynbee argues that air travel could be rationed, with the rich who wish to travel frequently buying more rations from the poor. That system is ludicrous in a business context.

Business travellers are already penalised by high fares and ever-increasing taxes on travel. I personally travel over 300,000 miles per annum on business, a figure I long to reduce. Perhaps the more rapid introduction of video conferencing could reduce airline travel?

DAVID T STAPLES

London N8

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