LETTER : Green future will enrich our lives

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your editorial ("The green odyssey will not always be applauded", 24 June) repeats a misconception which bedevils the green debate that "if Labour wants to accomplish half of what it promises, it is going to have to start telling the public some unpleasant things - like stop driving, pay more, consume less".

Policies which improve the environment do not need to incur cost and sacrifice. On the contrary they are a massive opportunity to improve both quality of life and economic wellbeing.

Many green policies can be paid for by switching tax and government expenditure around; they do not necessarily require overall increases in personal taxation. More than that, modern transport policies which reduce car use will enrich all our lives not just those of the currently disadvantaged like children, the disabled and the elderly. But they are essential for future prosperity. London and many other cities could unlock their value and transform their economic prospects by becoming paragons of sensible transport provision and offering an attractive location for the mobile economic activities which will increasingly be the basis of future success.

If the Government does implement a green transport policy what will strike us in years to come is not the cost and the sacrifice but the fact that we put up with present unsatisfactory transport conditions for so long.

RICHARD BOURN

Campaigns Officer

Council for the Protection

of Rural England

London EC1

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