Letter: No balance

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The Independent Online
In supporting the Salisbury bypass your correspondent makes the popular mistake of trying to balance economic benefits against environmental benefits (Letters, 21 July). The inadequacy of this approach is being demonstrated at the Heathrow Terminal 5 inquiry.

The Department of Transport ties itself in knots endeavouring to balance incomparables, even though UK sustainable development legislation requires these opposing aspects to be "integrated" and "reconciled" rather than weighed or balanced. Integration is a very different process which usually involves a change in state. A resolution for Salisbury, as elsewhere, would be action for fewer vehicles on all roads.

Rosalind Chaloner is right to say that this is a national problem requiring a proactive transport policy, rather than a local one as implied by the recent transport Green Paper. What a pity that both major parties are avoiding the issue.

Gordon Glass

Bath, Avon