ROY Baker's letter (November 12) having a go at Heathrow airport and rail transport in general needs breaking down.
No one is forced to live near an airport or under flight paths that have been in existence since just after the end of the Second World War.
Why has he never moved?
Yes, there is a lot of pollution from aircraft using Heathrow. In fact it extends out as far as the holding pattern areas and intensifies on the approach and take-off routes.
Yet no one has to live in or near London.
Usually those opposed to how airports operate are highly vociferous about the cut-price Ryanairs and Flybes encouraging more and more people to dirty the air, burn up more precious and filthy carbon-based fuels, and generally make life miserable for those near the minor airports such planes must use in order to offer what Mr Baker calls 'affordable prices'.
Charging £20 to check in one bag, Ryanair's profit forecast for the next six months is more than £300million.
He lives far from both Stansted and Gatwick, yet he sees nothing ironic in his friend from Bergerac taking a fuel
guzzling, pollution-spewing plane to London, and him driving his old jam jar 100 miles to meet him, rather than his Francophile mate - living just 52 miles from Bordeaux - taking a clean TGV train from there to Paris (three hours) and the clean Eurostar (just over two hours) to London.
Just how ethical is his friend? How ethical is not taking the Stansted train or coach?
As for our railways being 'outmoded', in 2008/2009 20 billion tonnes of freight were moved by train in the UK.
Those clean trains removed around 6.7 million lorry journeys, equating to 1.4 billion lorry kilometres in 2007/08, saving about 2.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. And passenger trains are similarly cleaner and more efficient than road coaches.
As for what Mr Baker calls 'expensive signalling systems' and 'expensive tracking', turning a railway into a motorway would cost £30million for every mile. London to Glasgow 343 miles. Do the maths. And who would pay? Mr Baker and every other taxpayer.
Trains are not just 'supposed to be' environmentally friendly.
Compared with all internal combustion engine road vehicles (even those using 'greener fuels'), they are.
The 'badly maligned' motorist 'subsidises' a whole raft of other people. Those without children 'subsidise' those with.
Transport in a mess?
Having no railways would make it a lot messier.
EC HAYMAN Beaumont Road