• Paul Wharton

At Least it's a Step in the Right Direction

I read Laura Trott’s piece in the Chronicle last week with interest. Cycle routes and other measures that encourage active travel are very welcome.

As she says, they will improve the district’s air quality and reduce our impact on the environment. Your recent report (May 5th) showed the scale of the problem we face:

‘Pollution levels in Sevenoaks far exceed World Health Organisation guidelines’.

It’s a shame that our MP fails to credit the campaigning work of the local Bicycle Users’ Group, but the new route is at least a step in the right direction. What’s puzzling is her opposition to related measures that would benefit people in London – including her many constituents who work there. Air quality in the capital is even worse than it is here, and extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone would certainly help.

Ms Trott describes ULEZ charges as ‘another tax’ imposed upon the struggling public. But the idea is simply to deter the use of the dirtiest vehicles, rather than raising revenue.

Quite apart from its impact on the climate, air pollution is a killer – wherever it is. And the best way to deal with it is by weaning ourselves off petrol and diesel as quickly as we can.

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