C-charge must be part of bigger plan
Unlike Jane Sprigg (Solidarity, 6 February) I have never had a car. Having to live on Incapacity Benefit, like the poorest of Londoners I could not afford one. I have to rely on public transport or just not travel. With gridlock meaning a five mile journey taking two hours and having to stand on arthritic legs often my only option is, don't travel.
When I could travel, a long journey by train and bus meant getting up at 5am to stand a chance of being on time for work.
My partner and our son are both asthmatic. Pollution caused by cars is a factor in this. It is also a class question. Those who can afford to have moved, those who can't have to stay and choke. If congestion charges give my family a chance to breathe I fully support them.
However, they need to be part of a plan aimed at enhancing the environment and improving the quality of life. This could include cheaper public transport and improvements in its quality, safety and reliability; more nurseries and play schools nearer to where people live, more on-line shopping, local markets and food co-ops, reduced hours with no loss of pay; repopulating city centres and the countryside, more home working and home schooling; a guaranteed income to give parents the option of being full time carers; offering those willing to give up their car free bikes or public transport.
When oil runs out, cars will be useless junk. We have start planning for that time now.
South London Alliance for Green Socialism