Dear Editor, Your feature about M6 Toll in Wednesday’s issue was generally fair and balanced.

However I must respond to the typically blinkered and prejudiced comments made by Chris Crean describing it as a “spectacular failure”, which if only for the reasons described in Alun Thorne’s report, it clearly is not.

Even if daily traffic flows between 40,000 and 50,000 vehicles a day are well below target, to say that this still substantial number has no effect on traffic volumes on the M6 is clearly ridiculous.

It is well understood that small percentage differences in traffic volumes either way will make or break grid-lock.

In my experience most of the serious delays I experience on the M6 are caused by road-works.

Having said that, I obviously accept that it would be better if a greater number of drivers took the toll road option, as I frequently do, and this is an issue of pricing policy, not the suitability of the route.

Mr Crean also makes a wild statement about increased levels of carbon dioxide and other pollutants resulting from use of the Toll Road.

It should be obvious that those vehicles able to maintain a consistent speed without interruption are causing far lower pollution than they would be if they were stuck in slower moving traffic on the M6.

The transport issue, more than most, requires fully objective analysis and should not be allowed to be diverted unconstructively by prejudiced arguments from interest groups which generally do not reflect a consensus view.

Mr Crean’s comments as reported should be considered in that light, in my opinion. Being well meaning is not enough.

Colin Leighfield, Operations Director,
Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd.


The people are crucial to Iranian democracy

Dear Editor, A superb article by Lord Corbett (December 3) gives us a clear illustration of the reality in Iran.

While the West makes ready for new talks with Tehran with Obama coming up, the regime in Iran continues their nuclear weapons programme which has already reached a point of grave concern.

After nearly 30 years of negotiating with Iran’s mullahs, it seems that the UK and US government still don’t understand that democracy won’t come with nice talks and incentive packages but has to come from within and the people themselves.

Fereydoun Seyed Ahmady,
Stockford Avenue,

Dear Editor, Magnificent article by Lord Corbett. After years of struggle to replace the mullahs in Tehran for a secular democracy, the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK/PMOI) has proved to be the only answer to reach this goal.

The war in Iraq has caused a mess and has given the regime the opportunity to increase the export of fundamentalism and support for terrorism in the Middle East.

That is why the members of the MEK in Ashraf City are now so important. Three million Iraqi Shiites recognise the Ashraf residents as the barrier against Islamic fundamentalism. Being the voice of the Iranian people, they have to be prevented from extradition.

Nader M.
Kemps Court, London.

Dear Editor, I fully back Lord Corbett’s opinion on Iran. In this comment he stands for freedom in Iran by defending the democratic resistance of Iran and its members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq.

I respect his work as a British parliamentarian and share his vision on the way to free Iran.

Arman Nabi Ahmadi,
Wheatley Close,

Dear Editor, Excellent article; thanks to Lord Corbett this issue is brought to the attention of the public.

Last week, 10 people were hanged in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran of which one of a mother of two children. We must take action to stop this barbaric regime killing innocent people and destroying humanity inside Iran.

I believe that the most viable solution for us is the Iranian opposition that has a solution for Iran. Regarding judgments of the European Court of First Instance (twice), the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission and the Court of Appeal in London the People’s Mojahedin of Iran is not involved in any terrorism. All courts ruled that the proscription of the PMOI as a terrorist organisations is perverse, unlawful and must be set aside.

If we want to get rid of these barbaric mullahs, we have to support the Iranian people and their resistance rather than hinder them.

Ali Afavi,
London N3B.


There’s a real need for flexible working legislation to be passed

Dear Editor, Criticism from some quarters that the government’s plans to press through flexible working legislation would affect the productivity of UK businesses is taking an unrealistic view of working life today.

Fundamental changes in the way Britons work and live mean that they are more likely to be working with a headset rather than a toolkit, and working different hours to the conventional 9 to 5 day. Consequently, granting the right to request flexible working to about 4.5 million parents demonstrates the need to help people work effectively.

Far from being prone to employee abuse, this legislation will bring the UK into line with the way we do business in today’s global market. Critics of extending flexible working seem to be stuck in a conventional workplace mindset that ignores how much communications technology has transformed how and where we can work.

For example, it is extremely simple and cost-efficient to set up a virtual office. Virtual Private Networks, presence indicators and messaging tools make it possible to keep track of remote workers’ activity, and help them stay connected to colleagues and motivated.

Assuming that flexible working will automatically lead to a dip in workforce productivity could even be harmful, as it risks sending out the message that we are behind the times in adopting new working practices.

Paul Lawrence,
Head of Business Markets,
ntl:Telewest Business, Birmingham.