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Your Kentish Gazette front-page headline on March 27 said What A Relief! A relief to whom? What are Kent County Council and Canterbury City Council doing to ensure a more Integrated public transport experience such as already happens in Oxford? Likewise, where is the target for every resident to have a footway to their nearest services or bus stop? Until such measures are implemented, the welcome implementation of some long-planned cycle routes will be merely sticking plaster in trying to reduce congestion (Bike vs Car…The Drive To Improve Our Road, Kentish Gazette, April 3). People who watch the weather forecasts may notice references to air pollution, but I wonder how many correlate that information with their driving?

One of the reasons for high air pollution is too much traffic, so the warning of even more traffic, described in Geoff Meaden’s well-reasoned letter (Traffic Measures Are Hardly A Relief, Letters and Opinion, Kentish Gazette, April 3) highlighting the traffic modelling report means that air pollution will also increase. Canterbury has an air quality management area, and the proposed traffic increase will simply make reducing pollution levels even more difficult. The UK brought in laws for air quality limits six years ago, but has continued to break the law since then, so faces penalties of £300million a year. The pollution causes 29,000 premature deaths a year – or one in eight of all deaths, as well as causing long term ill-health.

That is why the true cost of road provision is far higher than the £48billion quoted by Terry Hudson (Letters and Opinion, Kentish Gazette, April 3) that the government provides NHS services for those affected by air pollution, among other things. Clearly the transport planners or politicians have not taken heed of the well-known Government Standing Advisory Committee on Trunk Road Assessment (SACTRA) Reports of 1990s, nor of the CPRE report on Newbury’s second bypass, which show that building or improving roads simply draw in more traffic, and thereby increase congestion, not reduce it.

Chris Lowe, Hackington Road, Tyler Hill, Canterbury

Herne Bay Gazette, April 10th 2014

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