Letters

Published: 30/09/2004, Volume II4, No. 5925 Page 24 25

Your article on car parking ('The space age', buildings special report, pages 31-33, 16 September) was another indicator of how many trusts are still failing to get to grips with the motor traffic they generate and its health and environmental consequences.

A single urban parking slot may be worth£1,000 per year or more, and if the trust charges less than that, to patients, visitors or non-essential car user staff, it is subsidising car travel. In our work on travel plans with trusts, we found one that raised tens of thousands of pounds a year by hiring out spaces on site.

Yet the norm is still to subsidise staff parking to hundreds of pounds a year. Even more remarkably, many trusts offer no equivalent perk to people who travel by public transport, cycling or walking.We find this astonishing - why are staff and unions not up in arms about such inequitable treatment?

Government policies, NHS strategies, practical evidence and common sense all tell us that active, healthy and sustainable ways of travelling should be promoted in every way possible.

Trusts that effectively manage their transport and parking should in many cases be able to save money, too.

Philip Insall Active travel director Sustrans