Please protect us from poisoned air

Thank you for your excellent front-page coverage on the effects of vehicle exhaust-emissions on air-quality and health (“Air is a killer”, Gazette, February 12). Islington residents deserve to know the facts about an issue that requires urgent public debate.

Noticeably absent from your report is, however, any comment from Councillor Paul Smith. As environment boss, he surely has a view?

Instead, Councillor Smith offers a bizarre defence of the parking-roamer, a scheme designed not to lessen but encourage driving in the borough: “We want to make things easier for ordinary working people…to make essential trips in the middle of the day without … paying for visitor vouchers.”

“Ordinary working people” – populist words politicians love to use when they want our support – will be at work in the middle of the day, not to mention those who live in the more than the half of Islington households that doesn’t have a car.

Roaming the borough by car like kerb-crawlers will damage all residents, in work or out, children or adults.

Better for the council to admit its mistake and drop this ill-thought out bribe by which it hopes to soften the blow of increased permit charges.

The one thing all Islington residents deserve is a cleaner safer environment, not one further degraded by damaging, health-threatening emissions.

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The council would win respect. – Meg Howarth, Ellington Street, N7.