Letter: Free us from our cars

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Sir: All the signatories of this letter are pensioners and all are very green about the environment. We have listened to more than one discussion about reducing the use of cars in which there has been no mention of the special problems of the elderly. Our cars are our prams. Neither cycling nor walking are alternatives for us.

We cannot reduce the use of cars unless changes are made to meet our circumstances. Three such changes need not be costly to the taxpayer and will also provide new jobs for the less skilled young unemployed.

If we are to use the train instead of our cars, we need porters to help us and our luggage up and down stairs, to and from platforms and on and off trains. We see no difficulty in this being paid for by a ticket bought at the same time as the train ticket - the present charge at Heathrow is pounds 5. We assume this service would be run by Railtrack and suggest that it should be properly salaried with the prospect of promotion within the organisation, that the uniform should he designed to inspire respect, and the job renamed - "rail stewards" perhaps?

If we are to use public transport on the roads, buses must get back their conductors to help us on and off and give security against crime.

Pedestrian areas in cities are fine for the environment but not for the elderly. We need some form of cycle buggy or rickshaw to operate in these areas, limited to holders of cards similar to the orange badge for car drivers. Buggies could he hired out to athletic young people who would be licensed to operate them.

All these proposals would also benefit the disabled and though some outlay by the Government would be needed, the services would be mainly paid for by the users.

Dame ALIX MEYNELL;

Sir HAROLD and ELKE ATCHERLEY; HADLEY and HEATHER BUCK; PATRICIA CLIVE; KATHERINE COATES; DIANA COLLINS; ROSEMARY GOYDER; SUSAN HICKLIN; PAMELA JOHNSON; JAMES and DITTA KERR; JACQUELINE and YOOP KRAMERS; ETHEL MURRAY; MAUREEN NEEDHAM; ALEC and ANGELA STRAHAN; BASIL and JENNY STREET; MONICA VINTERS; JOHN and MARIETTA WHEATON

Lavenham, Suffolk

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