…common sense

With reference to the editor’s leader, I must take issue with the final paragraph which begins ‘Legislate by all means…’


With reference to the editor’s leader (Comment 29 October) I must take issue with the final paragraph which begins ‘Legislate by all means…’ this, in my view, is part of the problem. Instead of legislation being based upon informed opinions and, Heaven forbid, scientific research a lot appears to be introduced on ‘emotional’ grounds if not ignorance and concern. It seems to be more about being re-elected rather than the state of our country — if not the planet.


Global warming is a case in point. Whether you believe in it or not, cutting CO2 emissions is not a bad thing. However, common sense should prevail.


Road travel and all that it entails — congestion, traffic lights and speed control humps — can all influence emissions.


For example I travel 35 miles to work, morning and evening, mainly on the M1. If there is congestion in the evening and I take an alternative route using A and B roads. The journey is two miles longer, but it takes almost twice as long. This means more CO2.


Traffic lights should be ‘intelligent/smart’ systems such as those used on the continent as restricting the flow of traffic causes more emissions.


Another idea is to stop persecuting drivers. Those who use a car more already contribute enough by means of the excessive fuel tax.


Another classic example is the mass (‘forced’) introduction of catalytic converters for cars. These have a relatively short life, can easily be damaged and comprise expensive scarce elements which have to be mined and transported. This idea was introduced when lean-burn technology was developing and producing comparable, if not better, results.


One could also reintroduce the ‘rolling’ road tax exemption for ‘old’ vehicles. A car that is 20 years old and still going is obviously cared for, even though it may produce more CO2 emissions. But the emissions saving is considerable compared to replacing it with a new car every three to five years.


Although these comments relate to motor vehicles and road travel, there are many areas in which there are similar problems.


We all need sensible solutions and answers to help us. Science, engineering and good old common sense should provide these, if those who make the decisions that affect us bother to listen.


JA Bennett


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