Sadiq Khan explicitly stated that people “should avoid using the transportation network except in cases of absolute necessity”. I agree – and free travel by car is one way of ensuring people avoid the Transport for London network.
Regardless of which part of the political division we sit, we all agree that the only most important thing for London and the country is to ensure that the curve of the Coronavirus epidemic is flattened. Taking a trip in your vehicle only as expensive as the fuel you need to get from A to B is one of the things we can and should do to “crush the sombrero”.
Freezing expenses would also benefit our key workers; NHS workers, police officers and staff, firefighters and many other Londoners have engaged in the fight against Coronavirus on the front lines. They are leading the struggle of our lives. And to this list we now add our truck drivers, warehouse workers, pharmacists, teachers and health workers. Making their lives more convenient right now is simply the right thing to do.
The Mayor should protect them by making their journey to and from work safer by allowing them to use their personal vehicles without fear of being accused of doing so. And for those who don’t have access to a personal vehicle, the public transportation network would therefore become less busy – making risky interactions less likely – because more people would be on the surface and on the roads.
SIR – At 86, I am fit and well, I am still driving and exhibiting my art and enjoying life with my husband, who is 90 years old.
We have decided not to be terrified of getting coronavirus. We have had a good life and if it gets there, it will save a lot of money and inconvenience in case it needs to be treated in a retirement home, whose prospect is truly frightening.
Shirley Page Caxton, Cambridgeshire
SIR – Drastic action on coronavirus worldwide is now required by all nations. Leaving it too late (say, two weeks from now) will lead to a pandemic that no amount of action will contain.
All international travel by air, sea or land must cease, the only exception being those returning home, which would be placed in quarantine. This travel ban must continue for at least four weeks or until new cases occur worldwide.
There will be losses for acquired travel interests. These will be bearable compared to the horrible losses that will occur in a pandemic.
I will not consider traveling abroad first until the situation stabilizes.
David Dunlop Barkestone-le-Vale, Leicestershire
SIR – Has the world moved away from its senses? Unless the authorities hide a terrible truth about the virus from us, then it seems to me that what we are dealing with is a bad flu-like epidemic, nothing more.
I expect the bans on international travel will follow soon, and as a result, you will miss a planned, imminent and long family reunion in America.
Alan Quinton Eastbourne, East Sussex
SIR – Yesterday, in the pharmacy, I heard a customer ask for masks. After the client left, I commented that it seemed like an “unwarranted panic”.
I was more than a little surprised to learn that students from a local school were buying up to four boxes of masks at a time to ship to the Far East. They weren’t the only customers to do this.
Peter Speleers Crowthorne, Berkshire
SIR – Thousands of people from all over the world will descend to the National Exhibition Center, Birmingham for Crufts next week. So far we have not heard of any move to cancel it.
Are the authorities considering deleting it or are they willing to allow it to move forward and take responsibility for the consequences?
Annie Lorton Hatford, Oxfordshire
SIR – Despite all the advice on washing your hands to prevent the spread of the disease and covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, I find it frustrating to see the number of people who quickly wash their hands quickly under the tap without using soap. or don’t cover yourself when you cough and sneeze.
It is now time for all of us to start challenging these people about their unsanitary habits, as they are threatening the health of all of us.
Paul Lewis Edinburgh
SIR – Could it be useful for public health directors to provide guidance for companies that rely on touchscreens?
After just visiting my bank, I met no less than three devices that used touchscreens.
Tony Wolfe Penrith, Cumbria
SIR – The slogan “Coughing and sneezing spreading disease” has been publicized to tackle health problems in the past. Could the BBC not be required to transmit essential information to mitigate the spread of coronavirus?
Helen Mercer Preston, Lancashire
SIR – The way the coronavirus is able to tell Extinction Rebellion that it has things in hand?
John Bergin Oxton, Wirral
SIR – My father left his 1966 Morris Minor to my daughter, as he had always loved her. When she lived in London, she drove it happily and people waved and looked at her.
So she and her husband moved to Switzerland. She considered the sale, but couldn’t stand to part with it, so it had been sent to Zurich.
Now he drives around Küsnacht near Zurich, much to the embarrassment of my grandchildren, although his friends love having a ride.
He found local garages more than useful when needed, even though they have never had to deal with one before.
Judy Woolley Borrowash, Derbyshire
SIR – I accept the argument of Neale Edwards (Letters, February 24) on the virtue of continuing to drive old cars. However, the fact remains that the latest models are infinitely safer.
The design to crumble on impact (especially if you hit a pedestrian), non-slip brakes, top lighting and anti-roll bars have contributed to the proportional annual reduction in fatal accidents.
The immeasurable improvement in comfort and the inclusion of driving aids make driving less stressful. It is rare that heated seats, rear view mirrors, rear view cameras and satellite navigation systems can be adapted to older cars.
Roger Stainton Buntingford, Hertfordshire
SIR – Old cars are rarely stolen, but new ones are stolen by the thousands. Since they all have computers, why can’t manufacturers implant a pin number so that the car can’t start even if it has been unlocked or opened? One seems to have a pin number for almost everything these days anyway; six numbers and two letters should order it.
Geoffrey Saunders Cardiff
SIR – Forty years ago, when I worked for a Volvo car dealership, I went to a Volvo factory in Sweden and met the CEO, who asked me why my countrymen replaced their cars so frequently, since Volvo made them last. Not that he was complaining.
Geoff Benge Little Baddow, Essex
SIR – The wife needs a new dress. The horse needs a new carpet (Letters, February 26). The horse gets a new carpet.
Lynne Anderson Bethersden, Kent
SIR – Charles Moore (Comment, February 25) asks: “Why take a tenant if you can’t evict them?”, A problem with which I know all too well.
In 1973, I purchased a property with tenants per year in a three year lease.
After 43 years of “fair rent”, aggravation, bureaucracy, illness and frustration, the tenant who survived eventually died at the age of 95. Nobody in my family will ever leave a property again.
David G Ford Seaford, East Sussex
SIR – Charles Moore is right that landowners have eroded further recovery rights.
Ever since George Osborne started “bash-a-landlord” by raising stamp duty and reducing tax breaks (so taxpayers with higher rates will likely find the owner unprofitable), the government has misunderstood the private rents, resulting in both a reduction in available property and a rent rise well above inflation.
Paul Farndon New Milton, Hampshire
A choice of tenors
SIR – Regarding the profile of Rupert Christiansen of Placido Domingo (February 26): yes, Domingo for the tenor guide in the lesser known Puccini Manon Lescaut is The Golden West girl, but you would definitely like to enter Luciano Pavarotti’s ardent tenor La Boheme, Tosca is Madama Butterfly.
Likewise, in Verdi’s works, Domingo per Don Carlos is Othello, but Pavarotti is a must for the Duke of Mantua looking for pleasure Rigolettoand who, if he had not managed to hit the high C with such exaltation in those of Donizetti The fille du régiment?
My choices relate to recordings, not live performances.
Ian France Penrith, Cumbria
Cache without sachet
SIR – The Methodist church of Truro has replaced the sachets (Letters, February 26) with bottles of sauce in our voluntarily managed coffee.
Jon Summers Probus, Cornwall
SIR – Has anyone seen one of the new Brexit 50p coins? Local inquiries in shops and at the bank and to friends all get a negative response.
Terry Warburton Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Charities will lose in a cashless society
SIR – There are many reasons to resist a cashless company, but little has been said about how much charities will cost. I’m sure I’m not alone in making small changes in any charity shop adjacent to a store.
Tangible money is something that children understand from an early age. Will they have a realistic understanding of it when it comes to just another set of numbers on one screen?
Carole Tompkins Norton Midsomer, Somerset
SIR – The government should make it mandatory for all retail and service providers to accept cash.
While some consumers may be happy to pay for everything by card, others wish to use cash, which is still legal tender.
It is particularly annoying when an institution that receives public funding refuses to accept cash. The Barbacane art gallery is an emblematic example: you have to pay with your card, even for a postcard.
Marcia MacLeod London NW6
The BBC’s condescending attitude towards young people
SIR – The BBC’s desperate appeal to young people (report, February 25) is as embarrassing as those fruitless attempts made by the Church of England over the years to attract young people by turning churches into pits.
What matters to most people is the quality, breadth and depth of the service offered. Especially young people don’t like to be condescending or talking, but that’s what’s happening across the BBC and, in fact, across all our institutions. This will continue until the current identikit, the pseudo-liberal controllers withdraw or there will be no revolution in the way these organizations are managed.
Rev H B Tasker Ettington, Warwickshire
SIR – The BBC’s chase for young listeners also extends to its website. The current home page seems to be aimed at an audience more accustomed to celebrity magazines rather than sensible reports.
Until the recent redesign, the page could be customized to fit, but this provision has been removed, so we have no choice but to suffer this nonsense or go elsewhere.
James Harris Winchester, Hampshire
Letter to the editor
We only accept letters by post, fax and e-mail. Include name, address, work and home phone numbers.