I READ with interest what Cllr Nick Peel had to say about the congestion charge. But I was a bit flabbergasted at what he said, especially with the way he has his non-intervention rule when it comes to the bus network in the town!

Nick Peel says, "the roads are becoming more congested, and the answer is to use fewer cars".

This may be all well and good but he forgets one thing - what replaces the cars?

It cannot be the buses as, firstly, the GMPTE/A are NOT getting the powers they desired (ie: the same powers as Transport for London has), as they have already been watered down by the Government, so they won't be able to control the network more than they can now.

Secondly, what bus network is there in Bolton?

Due to his non-intervention of withdrawn routes, there is very little option for customers, hence the reason as to why there are actually more cars on the road than ever before.

Thirdly, First Manchester, and fares in Greater Manchester as a whole, are the MOST expensive in the country (in London it is only £1.40 for a day ticket, compared to £3.50/£3.70 here in Bolton).

Fourthly, the trains are just as bad - how much smaller can train units get before a death occurs due to overcrowding?

How about increasing the length of the trains or, better still, making the frequency of trains higher (oh, can't do that, firstly, the expense of new units; secondly the Department of Transport is not allowing anyone to buy any more train units unless ' for London!).

Plus, why introduce new trains with first class for commuters - isn't this just compounding the problem on the trains?

If Nick Peel had tried to intervene with many of the withdrawn routes in Bolton, and also tried to help the plight of train users, then this town would not be in the situation it is now, where the residents HAVE to use the car just to commute to work and back again.

Christopher Amos Whiteoak View Bolton