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Saturday, September 25, 1999 Published at 02:49 GMT 03:49 UK

UK Politics

Ministers urged to speed up transport reform

Reduce dependence on the car, urges the environment lobby

Environment and road safety groups have accused the government of not moving quickly enough on transport issues for fear of upsetting motorists.

They say congestion and poor public transport have become an Achilles heel for the government.

[ image: The groups want more effective cycle lanes]
The groups want more effective cycle lanes
Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott is being urged, on the eve of the Labour Party conference, to bring in a series of quickfire measures.

The groups, including Transport 2000 and Friends of the Earth, say a 20mph speed limit in urban areas, a full network of bus lanes and a national public transport ticket could all be introduced quickly

They also want more cycle lanes and more pedestrian crossings.

The BBC's Simon Montague: "Green groups are warning John Prescott that he must get transport policy moving"
In the longer term, they are calling for rail links to all towns with a population of more than 20,000 and more freight to be sent by train, with more goods terminals and dedicated freight rail lines.

Such changes would reduce car dependence, the groups say.

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