Readers' letters - August 15

Our children will not thank us for a legacy of ill health
Trees absorb pollutants and are good for our health says a reader. See letterTrees absorb pollutants and are good for our health says a reader. See letter
Trees absorb pollutants and are good for our health says a reader. See letter

Re: We all benefit from trees in our towns and cities, (WP Letters, August 10).There are not enough trees, and house and warehouse building projects are set to see the numbers of trees and green spaces greatly reduced. Scientific evidence shows that trees and green spaces absorb pollutants and World Health Organisation safe limits are exceeded in many towns and cities in the UK, Manchester is one of these cities. Our children and our children’s children will not thank us for a legacy of heart disease, strokes, cancer and lung diseases due to increased levels of pollution. When man messes with nature, nature has a nasty habit of biting back! We reap what we sow and we would be best to listen to the scientists on this and not blindly allow building on green belt without first considering the environmental impact.Joanne Smithvia WP Facebook

Don’t treat cyclists badlyIn response to Boris Johnson’s comments about the burka, the Muslim Council of Britain has written to Theresa May saying: “Nobody should be allowed to victimise minority groups with impunity”.Aren’t cyclists a minority group that have been victimised with impunity for decades?As a law-abiding cyclist since 1952, there have been countless times the f-word and the phrase “middle-aged-men-in-lycra” (MAMIL) have ‘bombarded’ my brain and destroyed my well-being. Even the police have offended me, by saying: “It’s about time you gave up cycling”.The worst comments to appear in the press are: “The only good cyclist is a dead one”, (The Richmond Magazine, 2012), and “A festive custom we could do worse than foster would be stringing piano wire across country lanes to decapitate cyclists,” by Times columnist, Matthew Parris.My worst experience – hit on the back of the head by a metal pole protruding from a passing wagon – happened in 1991. Although I survived, I suffered traumatic brain injury. Eventually, determined to make the best recovery possible, I got back on my bike.Every time I do, there are many instances when I fear for my life. Not least, when drivers wait to ‘race’ out of side roads and I can’t see their face. (Doesn’t the Department for Transport advise cyclists to make eye contact?)To make the UK safer for everybody, we surely need to ban all tinted windows, and all manner of face coverings which prevent drivers (of ‘potentially lethal weapons’) from being identified.The UK needs to be transparent from the cradle to the grave! If Boris Johnson is “a problem for the whole of society,” shouldn’t that also apply to anyone who says/tweets/writes anything offensive about cyclists?If the UK is to become ‘No Place for Hate’, it surely has to apply to every inch of the UK.Allan RamsayRadcliffePrepare for the future

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This summer’s heatwaves will undoubtedly have led many residents to wonder if their homes are fit for a future of extreme weather cycles, heatwaves and global warming. If we’re to prepare ourselves for what’s to come, our homes will be central to the solution to preventing further environmental damage.That’s why the REA propose that all new housing developments in the UK be fitted with a three-phase electricity supply. Three-phase power supplies in new homes can facilitate a more rapid deployment of renewable heat systems, greater uptake in rooftop solar PV, and greater choice in charging your electric vehicle – all of which will become necessities if the UK is to meet its heat emission and transport targets.If the Government compelled the electricity network operators to fit new homes in this way, the cost would fall even lower. James Court Head of Policy and External Affairs, Renewable Energy Association