Recorder letters: A13 pollution, Santa’s letters, lockdown and TfL funding

Avondale Road is one of the few areas in Newham without parking enforcement. As a result, there are cars parked everywhere.

Avondale Road is one of the few areas in Newham without parking enforcement. As a result, there are cars parked everywhere. Picture: Arnaud Stephenson - Credit: photo: Arnaud Stephenson

Letters sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Target A13 users to cut pollution

Kathy Booth, Canning Town, full address supplied, writes:

I am writing to you regarding the increase in residents’ parking fees.

Do the council know that parked vehicles do not cause pollution - this is think is just to raise funds.

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People in this borough are not rich, do not drive Rolls Royces, just working class people.

If you want to reduce pollution look at the A13, gridlocked in the morning, gridlocked in the evening, thousands of parked vehicles with their engines running.

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Perhaps you should charge them for coming into the borough.

Santa will write Christmas letters

Sarah Lambley, NSPCC supporter fundraising manager for London, writes:

It’s been a difficult year for Santa and the Elves. Social distancing in the workshop has meant production has been tricky at times but they are still on target to have everything ready for Christmas Eve.

Amazingly, Santa has still found time to team up with us at the NSPCC, to send personalised letters all the way from Lapland.

Each ‘Letter from Santa’ is printed and posted directly to your child in a festive envelope. You can choose the background design and fill in your child’s personal information such as age, best friend’s name or particular achievements throughout the year.

All we ask in return is a donation to help us be there for children, whatever their worries, this Christmas and beyond.

£5 could buy art materials to help a child who has been abused to express their feelings when they can’t find the words. £4 could pay for one of our trained volunteer counsellors to answer a child’s call to Childline. In 2019/20 our volunteers handled an estimated 34,100 counselling sessions with children in London.

Without the support of people in London we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver our vital services which offer a lifeline to many children and young people whose lives have been affected by abuse.

Everything we do protects children today and prevents abuse tomorrow, to transform society for every childhood. That’s why we’re here and that’s what drives all of our work. But it’s only possible with your support.

To find out more about the NSPCC’s Letter from Santa visit

Lockdown is not the right answer

Jeffrey Sadler, St Bernard Road, East Ham, writes:

We, the people of modern Britain, have faced all kinds of pandemic.

Aids, which I add there is still no cure, and Spanish flu that also infected millions people. The list is unending.

Why did the Conservatives not put the cash into the health service so they could keep on top of this pandemic?

Why did this party feel lockdowns were the best options?

God save Britain! It is really our only hope now.

Letters for visually impaired children

David Clarke, director of services at RNIB, writes:

With the festive season almost upon us, I’m writing to let your readers know that Santa and his elves are getting ready to give children with vision impairment a Christmas treat in the run up to the big day.

Each year, Santa receives millions of letters from children all over the world. To make sure that every child can read his reply, he has teamed up once again with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to make sure his letters are available in accessible formats including braille, audio and large print.

RNIB’s elves have been spreading festive cheer for over 20 years and last year sent 1,345 of Santa’s letters to blind and partially sighted children across the UK.

If you know a child with a vision impairment who would love to receive a letter from Santa, please send their Christmas letter to Santa Claus, RNIB, Midgate House, Midgate, Peterborough PE1 1TN by Tuesday 1 December.

Alternatively, you can email by Monday, December 21 for an email with a large-print attachment.

Make sure to include the child’s name, age, postal address, contact number and which format they need.

Sort TfL funding

Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly member and spokesperson for Transport, writes:

After weeks of worrying speculation about congestion zone expansion and the removal of free travel for younger and older people, this new funding deal for Transport for London removes the immediate threat. But, the government and the mayor must now work urgently to put TfL’s funding on a resilient footing.

It is not fair that people travelling by bus and tube are paying to fix potholes in London.

There needs to be new, fairer ways of funding TfL, instead of ever-increasing bus and tube fares and council tax or congestion charge hikes, we need an honest conversation with Londoners about who pays for transport.

London faces a further £160m of cuts to Transport for London, and investment in walking and cycling has already more than halved. We have seen how even small budgets like the £60m spent on Streetspace since May has been transformative, but it seems there’s no further money coming.

With public transport continuing to be at reduced capacity and a further national lockdown, Londoners need more safe places to walk and cycle.

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