CONTRAST the angst over the issue of canal bridges swinging and new bridge tolls with the likelihood that declining bus services will cause real hardship.

The blame lies squarely with central Government. Councils are having to deal with privatisation of transport provision and the latest twist is through politicallyinspired austerity.

Applying market forces leads to declining public services. The deregulation brought in by Thatcher’s government deprived buses of the support they need to provide for communities and this government is doing the same.

The advantages of the car need to be balanced by measures to support public transport, which requires political will and a vision of a fairer, more civilised society not the current dog-eatdog Con-Dem ethos. It requires belief in providing transport for those who can’t drive; those with disabilities, the young, large and low income families, because without transport they are excluded from society. It is in the Conservative interest to promote division and forcing people into car ownership helps to do that.

Council resources are controlled by those they would fight against.

Next time you’re stuck in traffic remember a full bus does the job of dozens of cars, and the answer to congestion isn’t in toll free bridges but change at the top.

JON WOOD Stockton Heath