LETTER : When buses get right up one's nose

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From Mr Mike Pomfrey

Sir: I am pleased to see that the Government intends to crack down on polluting vehicles (report, 28 February). I hope, however, that inspections will include the worst emitters of noxious fumes - buses.

In Sheffield, and no doubt in other cities, the Government's deregulation policy has had disastrous side-effects. In the scramble for a share of the market, dozens of bus companies have bought up ancient, foul-smelling stock. To remain competitive they skimp on servicing as well. And to make matters worse, they are all chasing a small number of plum routes at peak times, so we get vast convoys of buses acting out a game of dodgems.

Proponents of public transport point out that one bus may save the use of several cars. But if the buses are uncontrolled, their effect on pollution and congestion can begreater than that of private vehicles.

Yours faithfully,



1 March