Letter: Not so green government

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The Independent Online
Sir: Yesterday's announcement that five controversial road schemes have been given the green light ("How green is our government?", 29 July), apparently because of their perceived economic benefits, is in stark contrast to Labour's statement that "the notion that new roads are always good for a region's economy, regardless of circumstances, needs to be rejected" (In trust for tomorrow, Labour's 1994 environmental policy).

The dropping of both the Salisbury bypass and the A40 approach to west London are welcome but now have to be matched by public transport investments there. Indeed, in a press release following the Tory government budget of December 1995, Joan Ruddock MP, then Shadow Minister for Environmental Protection, stated that "although cuts in the roads programme may superficially appear welcome from an environmental viewpoint, there is no real environmental benefit unless people are offered alternative forms of transport."

Since ministers are threatening more green belt housing and will not be offering maintenance grants to organic farmers, this government's green credentials appear very weak indeed.

DAVID CROMWELL

Southampton Green Party

Southampton

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