It is good news that Dorset Council (DC) has attracted £19 million to reduce its carbon footprint. But that alone does not make Dorset a “National Leader” (Echo 20th May). Local politicians are guilty of using the same delaying tactic as their national leaders by pretending that action on one element of the Climate Crisis means that they can carry on with other business-as-usual environmentally destructive activities.

By pointing out that DC’s “council activities equate to 1% of the problem in the county”, Cllr Ray Bryan uses another delaying tactic – pass responsibility onto others, rather than offer leadership.

Of course DC cannot single-handedly solve all the carbon emission problems of Dorset.

But they are in a position to develop clear policies which will create the atmosphere for wider change. Policies which put the Climate Emergency as top priority are needed in all the areas under the control of DC, from Planning (encouraging better insulated homes) to Waste Management (influencing recycling rates) to Agriculture (demanding organic practices on council owned farms) to traffic and public transport integration.

The proposed Weymouth Station Gateway plans are ill-conceived and if carried out they will harm the future prospect for a genuine integrated railway and bus station interchange, necessary as a vital step in beginning to tackle the environmental and health disbenefits of traffic in Weymouth.

DC, in constructing the necessary traffic plan for the post fossil fuel era ahead, must respond to partners like bus operators First Wessex. Their Operations Manager in her Echo letter of 20th May points out that better integration of public transport is thwarted by a lack of bus priority measures in Weymouth.

The solution to this is a necessary precursor to any chance of a viable public transport interchange at the station and lies firmly in the hands of DC policy makers.

Weymouth is privileged in having both good (but improvable) rail services to major population centres in London, Bristol and further and a good (but improvable) bus network linking Weymouth, Portland, Dorchester and Chickerell and further afield.

This public transport network provides access to dozens of local attractions and our marvellous unique Jurassic coastline. Once properly integrated, what an enticement to visit, be it winter or summer!

Staycations are here to stay and Weymouth needs to position itself as THE place to visit for the increasing swathes of the population who want to holiday with a clear conscience by choosing to travel car free.

Graham Lambert