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Panorama
Promises, promises
Tony Blair, tube train, Panorama Reporter John Ware
John Ware asks if Blair has kept his transport promises

Panorama: Promises, Promises was broadcast on Sunday, 16 February, 2003 at 2215 GMT on BBC One.

On election night 2001, responding to the record low turn-out in the polls, the Prime Minister said he recognised he had been given "an instruction to deliver".

In the first of a series on the state of Britain's public services, Panorama's John Ware investigates whether Blair is living up to what his government pledged on transport.

When New Labour launched their "radical" transport policy five years ago, Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott promised:

"This is the day transport bursts into the light of a new day."

Then came the glitzy launch of the Ten Year transport Plan.

Everyone would be a winner: Car travel up; congestion down; rail and bus services up; our towns and cities reclaimed.

Drawing on the advisers and transport experts who helped the government shape its policy, John Ware explains why they are in retreat on every major front.

Congestion on the roads is now set to rise steeply. Outside London and some cities, bus travel is in decline.

The privatised railways were promised a "renaissance".

But they are haemorrhaging billions of pounds of taxpayers' money, are full to bursting and major new lines which were promised are being cancelled or postponed.

One adviser tells Panorama, the Ten Year Plan was "over-promised" and is being "under-delivered.

Another concludes that the government no longer has a "live transport strategy".

The Ten Year Plan, he says, is already "dead".

Production team:
Reporter: John Ware
Producer: Mike Rudin
Editor: Mike Robinson


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Key stories

Ten Year Plan

Labour's pledges
Links to more Panorama stories are at the foot of the page.


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