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Tuesday, July 21, 1998 Published at 17:46 GMT 18:46 UK


On your bike, John

Motorists have given a big thumbs down to the Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's transport White Paper.

"Would you leave your car at home?," asked News online following publication of the paper designed to boost public transport and discourage the car.

Hundreds of users replied with a resounding "no", saying it penalised drivers unfairly.

No picnic in the country

Many said that charging motorists for driving into congested areas shows how the government is out of touch with rural Britain

They argue that for those who live in the country, the car is the only way of getting around.

"I live in Cornwall...Public transport is limited. By car, my journey takes 30 minutes each way.When the trains are on time it takes about an hour each way," says Simon Wills.

Sarah Castle adds: "I live 25 miles from the nearest train station and there hasn't been bus service in my village for five years."

Schools out

Parents who do the school run say they are being made a scapegoat for the congestion on Britain's roads.

Father of two, Mr. S Sandow, says: " I am concerned about the focus on the school run. I have 2 children, one 8 years and with Cerebral Palsy - how is she to get to school other than by car?"

And Dave Wilkin thinks "that the government encouraging parents not to take children to school is ludicrous."

Too little, too late

The proposed billion-pound cash injection to public transport has also gone down like a lead balloon.

Buses, trains, tubes are all, according to News online users, in too bad a state of neglect for any quick fix measures.

"The money being given to public transport is just not enough. £1.8bn over one year let alone three would not even scratch the surface of the problem," says Eve Ansty.

Something for nothing

Others simply do not believe the charges on motorists will be put towards public transport.

Niko Terizakis says: "Mr Prescott has done nothing else other than introduce new taxes for the motorist. Congratulations!!! With the latest proposals UK Plc can at last claim a first : The most expensive car ownership in Industrialised Europe!"

Thumbs up

But there are those who applaud Mr Prescott.

"This is an excellent first stab at tackling what is increasingly being recognized as a major problem for society," says Paul Stanton.

Robert Hempel thinks Mr Prescott is "a brave person for trying to sort to out the transport mess."

And Miles Price says he "could have taken this opportunity to be much tougher."

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