IF SOUTHAMPTON City Council is really serious about cleaner air in the city, and are considering car-free days in ‘certain areas’, why don’t they ban diesel buses from the city centre? The average bus chucks out more rubbish than any car, and very often is running with fewer passengers than the average car.

The answer is, of course, swift, silent, non-polluting trolley buses. I say (again) trolley buses rather than trams because all you have to do is sling a couple of wires along the road, rather than spend years laying tracks. It is interesting to note that a number of cities in the country have gone over to trams, but I personally feel that trolley buses would be quicker and cheaper to commission.

Southampton once had a fantastic and widespread tramway system run by the then-borough council, but some bright spark decided that diesel buses would be cheaper to run – look where that decision has got us. All it needed at that time was to update the vehicles and keep the system running. Oh yes, Southampton had its own power station then.

So come on, Southampton City Council. Bite the bullet. Take all the various bus companies under the council banner, change over to trolley buses and get rid of diesel buses. There goes about half the pollution in one fell swoop.

Robert Smith