I NOTE that Newcastle City Council is considering charging an entry fee to cross the Tyne bridges to reduce pollution.

This may discourage casual travel but won’t stop commuters who may have older cars and who travel at the worst time for pollution.

The commuters will just regard it as a cost, like parking, and carry on as before; or find another way into the city. It’s unlikely to encourage them to buy a cleaner car.

Germany, in 2007, introduced the umwelt-plackette, which is an official sticker on a car windscreen showing the pollution rating, roughly corresponding to its Euro score.

The affected cities have road signs showing the acceptable vehicles; the rest are directed to the nearest park-and-ride.

If a traffic warden spots your car without the correct sticker then it’s an instant 80 Euro fine and big trouble.

In 2007, my car was rated three and was allowed into all towns. Now many places require at least four as the quality of newer cars improves.

Other countries are following suit, some even have different limits at different times of day.

This process means that clean cars are not penalised while the dirty ones are barred.

The system is flexible and well-understood. Surely this is a better scheme than charging a tax on everyone yet still allowing polluting cars in?

Anthony J Foster, Peterlee