I WISH there was more that Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, (Letters, March 10) and I agreed on.

Like Peter Ashcroft (March 17) I am pleased that Cllr Hawthorne agrees that more cycling can play an important part in tackling the climate emergency and that he looks forward to working with organisations like Stroud Active.

Like Peter Ashcroft, I am concerned by Cllr Hawthorne’s statement that “we should be investing in upgrading roads” and that he clearly believes that more road space with cars going faster will cut air pollution.

I too sometimes don’t feel safe as a cyclist on our roads.

Before the March 17, county council meeting, I asked Cllr Hawthorne for evidence that increasing road space is a good way to improve air quality, health and opportunities for active travel of all of us who live and work in Gloucestershire.

His 170-word answer offered no evidence.

He did say that “for journeys that are unavoidable by motorised transport”, the Conservative vision is to encourage “ a switch to Ultra Low Emission Vehicles”.

We don’t need more road space to cater for those who can only travel by car.

50 per cent of toxic particle emissions from cars and trucks, including plastic particles, are from tyres and brakes – electric vehicles will not change that.

Please watch Channel 4 Dispatches: Britain’s Toxic Air Scandal, June 10, 2019 - it is available free.

Air pollution as a child, reduces health outcomes for life.

Poor air quality creates poor health for life.

Dense fast-moving traffic puts people off riding bikes and walking – it’s noisy, dirty and clogs up the lungs.

Reducing traffic reduces air pollution and gives our children and grandchildren a better childhood and a better life.

At the March 17, county council meeting I asked Cllr Hawthorne “Given that much air pollution comes from vehicle tyres and brakes – and will continue to do so from electric vehicles – what will the county council do to reduce air pollution across the county?”

Once more, he failed to answer my question, talking instead about the £600 million A417 Air Balloon expansion as being done for safety reasons!

Greens have suggested using variable speed controls to achieve this at a much lower cost.

We think that money would be far better spent on, for example, minimising air pollution around schools, social care, housing retrofit, or reducing digital, nutritional and other deprivations in our communities.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Alan Mossman