THE nuisance and eyesore of abandoned and vandalised cars mentioned by Andrew Stoneman (Letters, January 19) is a symptom of putting a higher value on the private car than the public highway even though manufactured goods are plentiful but space and beauty are at a premium.

No right to park has ever existed, but waiting incidentally to a journey, if not physically obstructive, was allowed so that, with the mass use of cars, the basic principle was undermined.

The police, understandably, want clear rules, such as yellow lines, to help enforcement. So, owners of apparently abandoned cars are given a minimum of a week's notice before the cars are taken away for recycling by the local authority.

Also a car which is out of place is, apparently, matched up with cars reported missing, not with the national licensing register. Only vehicles not displaying a licence are reported back to the register at Swansea.

This is a problem that can be solved but it needs the will to resist commercial pressures. Also restoring the historic responsibility of owners to store vehicles needs a change of culture. A major cause of taking cars without the owner's consent is our great dependence on cars. This has been allowed to develop without taking the implications on board.

Jim Whitehead

Belmont Road, Chesham