Letter: Prescott trips over the dog

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The Independent Online
Sir: The evidence would certainly indicate that curbing car pollution is indeed a vital problem, and Professor Peter Smith (Letters, 4 June) suggests a number of technical fixes to engines and cars which would help to clean up the air. But even if a "magic" fuel which produced no emissions were developed tomorrow, millions would still suffer traffic problems.

"Greener" vehicles do nothing to reduce congestion (which costs industry pounds 19bn a year) or to end "rat-running". Pressure for new roads would continue, eating up more countryside and further dividing towns. The noise of roads would continue to blight homes and enormous amounts of raw materials would continue to be used in car-building.

Planning to reduce the need to travel and making alternatives attractive and convenient would address all these problems. Now that Cynog Dafis MP has adopted the Road Traffic Reduction Bill we can look forward to debate in Parliament which will give Labour a chance to show if they will reduce all traffic problems by being tough on the cause of the problem - too much traffic.

Dr SARAH HILL

London E9

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