We cannot continue to accept the behaviour of many men towards women as if it were ‘just a joke’

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Monday 15 March 2021 19:51
Watch live as people protest in Parliament Square after Sarah Everard vigil

Better lighting on streets, with enhanced CCTV, is a good idea but it is not the solution. More police is a good idea (shame 20,000 were got rid of not long ago) but it is not the solution.

What must change and improve is education from an early age – kindness and respect are vital – as well as criminalising those who practice sexual harassment, such as catcalling, inappropriate touching, obviously following a woman and so much more.

As a society, we cannot continue to accept the behaviour of many men as if it were just a joke, just harmless fun, when it is the foundation on which extreme violence is built.

Robert Murray Nottingham

It would have been a more sensitive approach for Cressida Dick to have specified that any necessary police presence at the vigil on Clapham Common should have been undertaken by female police only. What a disaster and quite unnecessary.

Kate Daintith Chew Magna

Waste not, want not

If European countries are suspending the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for what are statistically and medically illiterate, possibly nationalistic, reasons, they could send their doses to Britain to help us draw even further ahead of the field.

Tim Sidaway Hertfordshire

Line to nowhere

A railway tunnel between Northern Ireland and Scotland, as described in John Barstow’s letter (‘Bridging the gap’, 15 March), is unnecessary and would be an embarrassing and highly expensive white elephant. Quite apart from the technical and engineering problems, which have already been outlined, a fixed link would essentially be a line to nowhere.

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Before very long, Northern Ireland will be reunited with the rest of Ireland. The lessons of history hold no other outcome, and this would be the only way of solving the conundrum of the Irish border while the Brexit nonsense persists.

Ireland will gradually become less reliant on trade with Britain and will develop a more intense trading relationship with its EU partners. Goods between Ireland and mainland Europe will be transported to and from the continent via direct sea links from Dublin, Belfast and other Irish ports to ports in France and further afield, thereby avoiding two tiresome bouts of British bureaucracy when transiting through Wales and England, and making use of the excellent French motorway network.

Given that Ireland will be looking much more to its south, a land journey via Scotland will be seen as a totally unnecessary diversion, adding miles and days to any journey.

If the UK was belatedly to come to its senses and rejoin the EU, there might be some merit in investigating a fixed link (possibly with the aid of EU cash), but I see little chance of this in the next few years at least. The money needed for a tunnel would be better spent on improving road and rail links to the ferry ports and on improving the number and frequency of the ferries themselves.

Sam Boote Nottingham

Boris’s bus sense

When tackling climate change, the public transport sector must be a priority (‘Boris Johnson launches £3bn ‘greener bus revolution’ to improve services’, 15 March).

Government statistics confirm transport is already responsible for 27 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. One bus can take as many as 40 cars off the road, while reducing the parking space to allow for a small park or children’s playground in a city.

The government strategy focuses on investment in electric and hydrogen buses to progress towards greener travel. However, while the propulsion system is important, we must also consider what these buses will be made from and how, not only to optimise the usage of greener vehicles, but also the vehicles themselves.

Composites are far lighter than traditional metal equivalents, having a specific gravity a quarter that of steel and two thirds that of aluminium and, when applied correctly, good mechanical properties. Additionally, composites provide by their nature excellent insulation properties, thus reducing the need of energy required for heating/cooling the vehicle and further contributing to energy consumption reduction and range extension of the vehicle.

£3bn goes a long way, and investment shouldn’t solely be placed in how we power green transport.

Jari Sopanen Finland

I note from Sam Hancock’s article that the bus is Boris’s favourite means of transport. Here’s hoping that the green ones turn out to be more reliable than that red one he was on in 2016.

Noel Chadwick Cumbria

Ronald Pickup

I was saddened to hear of the death of Ronald Pickup, a wonderful, versatile actor. However, your obituary did not mention one role which marked my children’s childhood, that of the voice of Aslan in the BBC’s adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. He was the voice of Aslan for us, he gave him dignity and authority, and we will always remember him for that.

Catherine LayerEast Sussex

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