Points: Letters of the week, July 27

The issues that got you talking this week

Taxi mum cartoon

Excess fare

Lisa Migdal is seriously responsible for pollution by ferrying her offspring around (“Taxi Mum’s here, kids, and I’ve got the meter running”, last week). Twelve miles, or 3 hours and 20 minutes’ travel time, on Monday? Why do these children not cycle or walk?

Michiel Hoefsmit, via email


Target practice

Your correspondent Peter Salter says Transport for London (TfL) claims chasing up foreign vehicles for congestion charge avoidance is “racially discriminatory” (“Foreign exchange”, Points, last week). To judge by your article on French police targeting UK cars for speeding (“It’s your money or your licence: France welcomes rosbif drivers”, June 22), the system doesn’t work both ways.

Simon Kenward, London


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Chasing payments

TfL actively pursues foreign cars that have not paid the congestion charge. Only 0.2% of non-paying vehicles are from abroad. In these limited cases we employ a European debt recovery agent to identify the car’s country of origin and then approach the country’s vehicle licensing authority to obtain the keeper’s details. The payment rate in these cases stands at 44%. Our commissioner has written to the Department for Transport to improve access to European licensing authorities.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director Surface Transport, TfL

Out of hand

So the road safety charity Brake now wants to stop drivers making hands-free calls (“Hands-free calls may put motorists in line for big fines”, News, last week). Whatever next? Perhaps it should be seeking to ban all talking inside vehicles, or, better still, to allow only one person in each car, with no phone, CD player or radio.

Ken Oginsky, Lichfield, Staffordshire

Walking into trouble

Pedestrians should be liable for their actions when stepping off pavements while looking at their phones or wearing headphones (“App hits brakes for walkers on collision course with cars”, News, last week). A pedestrian once ran without looking across the road and landed on my bonnet. He was wearing headphones, and when he got up he said he hadn’t heard me.

The police told me I wasn’t to blame, but my insurance company charged me my £800 excess and I lost my no-claims bonus.

Robert Townsend, via email

Dark energy

Concerning Stella, the solar-powered car, I was surprised to read that “at night it travels using battery power alone” (“Welcome aboard, sunshine”, last week). Are there no hi-tech moonshine and stardust collectors fitted?

Charles Quekett, Llangolman, Pembrokeshire


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