Friday, July 23, 1999 Published at 22:56 GMT 23:56 UK
Prescott admits 'courting unpopularity'
John Prescott's morning briefing at his flat
The deputy prime minister has said he understands if the public still needs convincing of his vision for transport in the UK.
John Prescott admitted to BBC News that the deluge of criticism over his handling of transport reform was a problem, but said he was not surprised.
"Long-term decisions mean that sometimes you court a little bit of unpopularity."
He denied there was a rift between him and the prime minister.
He has in the past blamed "faceless wonders" at Downing Street for saying he has not got a grip on his transport brief.
But critics including transport correspondents and the opposition say his approach is not working.
Paul Marston of the Daily Telegraph said: "John Prescott is too distracted.
"He chairs a large number of cabinet committees as deputy prime minister, performs a lot of ceremonial duties as deputy prime minister and he has a lot of international commitments as environment secretary.
"There is no one there batting for transport every day of the week."
"Relations between the two men are at an all-time low. It's not getting better, it's getting worse.
"Motorists are frustrated, Tube travellers are frustrated, train commuters are frustrated and it's John Prescott's fault."
In the upcoming reshuffle Mr Prescott is said to have made sure he is keeping the transport portfolio.
"In a democracy I must convince them of the right way," he told the BBC's John Pienaar.
"I must do what politicians have not done before - face up to the realities of environmental damage and congestion.
"We have to change the way we do things."
UK Politics Contents
A-Z of Parliament