LETTERS: Newbury: wrong battleground for anti-road lobby

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The Independent Online
Sir: Your leading article "Road protesters lose their direction" (5 April) is right to be concerned that the anti-road lobby "is in danger of becoming a marginalised minority pursuit". Although a strong supporter of the Newbury bypass, I nevertheless share that concern. The urgent need for a bypass to reduce the pollution caused by Newbury's notorious traffic problems should not be allowed to obscure the equally important need to review the roads programme in general.

By concentrating their fire on one of the few roads where the environmental benefits will outweigh the environmental damage, the protesters have reduced the credibility of the anti-road lobby.

Their failure, noted by your leader, to attract anywhere near the numbers of protesters the organisers had originally promised is one result of this loss of credibility. It will be a matter of great regret, to me as much as to anyone else, if the protest continues and in so doing marginalises those of us who understand the pressing need for a new integrated transport strategy for our country.

David Rendel MP

(Newbury, Lib Dem)

House of Commons

London SW1

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