Dear Editor, I was proud of the Centro efforts to remove 2.75 million car journeys off our congested roads with the free car park and ride facilities and their expansion plans (Post ‘Eco’ supplement).

Surely though for many short car journeys to local rail stations commuters are only engaging in a partly green travel experience.

Why can’t Centro pilot a scheme in which re-charging facilities for electric cars are installed at certain stations? Such a scheme would boost usage at the car parks, give a fully green travel experience, encourage electric car owners to switch to rail journeys and encourage sales of this type of vehicle at a fraction of the cost of their diesel or petrol guzzling cousins.

Steve Kirkham,
Grange Road, Kings Heath.


We don’t negotiate with pirates – except when it suits us to

Dear Editor, There comes a point when one, in exasperation, probably has to admire the mendacity of New Labour and their ministers in government.

I was struck with emotion, to a point where I could have crushed a grape, when I heard David Miliband’s strong words of wisdom warning against succumbing to the demands of pirates by paying their ransoms. Britain and the Foreign Office has a poor record of looking after our citizens abroad when they are in difficulty and this government hasn’t the money anyway in our account to pay up. Like we used to say to our children when babies, having eaten all of their meal, “It’s all gone!”

David Miliband’s tough words are said in the knowledge that other countries will no doubt negotiate, leaving him with a certain “image” in the eyes of the electorate, an electorate which, judging by what Brown is getting away with in his rhetoric, are very susceptible to a bit of flannel and spin.

New Labour has had plenty of experience in negotiating with murderers and terrorists. They should seek the advice of Tony Blair; who knows how to negotiate, giving away “benefits in kind” without the need for an immediate lump sum of money; a salary, expenses, chauffeur-driven cars and a gold-plated pension is all it requires.

But as David Miliband says, one should not give in to terrorism (except when it suits).

Douglas J Wathen,
Salford Priors, Nr Evesham.


Transport left in the Dark Ages

Dear Editor, The absence of a modern public transport network in Birmingham is now the single most significant factor which marks the city out as different from all other major conurbations in the developed world.

I had always believed that this was due entirely to the Government’s refusal to support or fund any of the region’s frequently submitted light rail proposals. It now appears that this is not the whole story. It seems that the city council is also unwilling to support a modern rapid transit network for Birmingham and the wider metropolitan region.

The Government will, of course, be only too pleased to be presented with yet another excuse to deny the region funding, and will be quite happy to divert the money to where it usually goes: London and Manchester.

There seems little point in heralding the great “Big City Plan” if its public transport is set to remain firmly stuck in the Dark Ages!

A J Millinger,
By Email.