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Wednesday, 22 May, 2002, 08:18 GMT 09:18 UK
Transport plans under fire
Traffic congestion
The government wants to tackle congestion
The government has been accused of backing out of its pledge to reduce car travel in a report by an independent advisory body.

Two out of five people think the government has given less priority to transport problems over the past year.


Allowing congestion to grow is the only true anti-motorist policy

David Begg, commission chairman

This could threaten the delivery of the government's ten year plan, according to the Commission for Integrated Transport.

And one in three see transport as a main problem facing Britain today, the MORI poll for the commission found.

Decade plan

The poll accompanied an assessment report on the government's 10-year transport plan by the commission.

More than half of the 1,725 people surveyed supported the idea of congestion charging as long as this money went on improving public transport.

Report findings
Air quality targets being met
Road safety improving
Rail passenger numbers falling
London commuter routes overcrowding worsening
Bus reliability targets not met

The report by the government-funded commission found there were worrying signs the government and local authorities were "soft-pedalling" on measures to reduce car travel.

Chairman David Begg warned: "Unless we take action to change behaviour at the margins, traffic congestion, particularly in our cities, is only going to get worse.

"We don't want to throw away the gains that delivery of the 10-year plan will bring for fear of being seen as anti-car.

"Allowing congestion to grow is the only true anti-motorist policy."

He called for a clear message from the government to local authorities about the introduction of congestion and workplace charges.

And he called for more bus priority measures.

The commission repeated its view expressed earlier this year that the rail industry should a more advanced version of a European safety system to stop trains going through red lights.

Prof Begg said the 10-year plan was "a sound starting point".

"There are encouraging signs as well as some clouds on the horizon."

See also:

02 May 02 | UK
30 Jan 02 | England
25 Feb 02 | Asia-Pacific
18 Feb 02 | England
06 Mar 01 | UK Politics
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