Letter: Why we should hail Swampy and friends as patriotic heroes

Sir: The under-sheriff of Devon may be right to say that he had no powers to negotiate with the A30 protesters, but he was wrong to call their demand for a new public inquiry into the scheme "totally unacceptable" and "totally unrealistic" (reports, 27, 28 January).

This scheme, the Newbury by-pass, and all the other road-building proposals in the road programme were "justified" by reference to the impossibly high long-term traffic forecasts made in 1989. The Government recently decided to support the Road Traffic Reduction Bill. Logic demands that it should now reassess the whole of its road programme.

STEPHEN PLOWDEN

London NW1

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