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Transport Minister Lord Macdonald
"I'm running transport just as I was appointed to in July"
 real 28k

Guto Harri reports for BBC News
"An ambitious plan to modernise Britian's transport infrastructure"
 real 28k

Political commentator Anthony Howard
"I don't see it as the first stage of edging John Prescott out"
 real 28k

David Nisbet reports for BBC News
"The plan builds on ideas first used in Holland"
 real 28k

Monday, 13 December, 1999, 17:02 GMT
Prescott's big plan

Cars will remain at the heart of the government's vision


At least 80bn will be spent getting the UK's transport system up to speed by the year 2010, the government has announced.

Public and private funds, money raised from fuel duties and congestion charging will be used to build new train stations, improve the nation's road system and boost public transport by bus, tram and light railways.

Ministers are also keen to cut journey times for motorists and prevent bottlenecks.

New tickets will also be implemented to cover travel by train and road, and will be available on the internet.

More details of Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott's transport vision will be released at the end of the week, with further announcements due in the summer.

But it has already been revealed that a 100m will be made available for an extension to Sunderland's Tyne and Wear Metro.

Mr Prescott also announced that 750m will be given to local councils to help introduce new bypasses, bus lanes and integrated transport systems.

Some of the 80bn earmarked for transport is 'old' money which has already been announced.

This includes 3bn for the Channel Tunnel high-speed rail link and part of Railtrack's own 10-year, 2bn investment programme.

Car is 'essential'

Despite his desire to upgrade public transport Mr Prescott still sees the car as being at the heart of the government's transport vision.

He said: "The car and the lorry will remain essential. I make no apology for saying that we must invest in our road network, both nationally and locally."

Mr Prescott added that the government would not attempt to reduce traffic in absolute terms.

Prescott's plans

  • A national telephone inquiry service to cover rail, bus, train and boat travel
  • A single transport ticket to cover all forms of transport
  • A new road safety target for the next 10 years
  • A complete renewal of train fleets and some main line track and signalling
  • Faster trains, reaching speeds of up to 140mph
  • Real time information on bus routes

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See also:
12 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Government backs Prescott on transport
08 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Prescott comes out fighting
13 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Macdonald: Unelected but respected
08 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Analysis: Prescott's problems
05 Dec 99 |  UK Politics
Prescott: I will not quit
29 Jul 99 |  UK Politics
From red Clydeside to red buses
04 Aug 98 |  UK Politics
Curriculum vitae: Gus Macdonald
12 Jul 99 |  UK Politics
The 'decent' face of old Labour

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