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Wednesday, 1 December, 1999, 05:47 GMT
Labour MPs promise air traffic opposition
Motorway traffic The government wants to reduce traffic jams

The government is set to publish its Transport Bill, introducing measures to cut traffic congestion and to sell off part of air traffic control services.

Also included in the bill will be a package of measures to regulate local buses more rigorously and improve services.

Air traffic control Air traffic control privatisation measures could spark a Commons revolt
The bill is the long-awaited result of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's plans to ease congestion and boost public transport.

However, the plans to part-privatise National Air Traffic Services have run into stiff opposition from Labour MPs.

Mr Prescott has insisted that safety will be assured by keeping that part of the business within public control, but opponents could still mount a Commons revolt against the measure.

Labour former transport minister Gavin Strang, a fierce critic of the plans, said: "It is no accident that no Tory transport minister got round to privatising National Air Traffic Services.

John Prescott John Prescott plans to charge motorists for entering city centres
"No country in the world has privatised its air traffic control."

Under its plans to reduce car congestion, the government will allow local authorities to charge motorists for entering city centres and firms for workplace parking after consultation with local people.

However, Mr Prescott has stressed that the charges are unlikely to be introduced until 2005 at the earliest, partly because the technology is not yet ready.

He spoke out after the government's plans were greeted with a flurry of headlines branding ministers anti-car.

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See also:
18 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Prescott: We must act on transport
17 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Selling-off the skies
18 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Prescott defends transport plans
26 Nov 99 |  UK
UK motorists 'worst off in Europe'
23 Nov 99 |  UK Politics
Government 'parks' car tolls

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