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Action to date

News

Rail: The hands-off policy on Railtrack has remained, with no plans for renationalisation.

Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) has lost control of strategy, reflecting government dissatisfaction over the delayed strategic review - now due in November.

New transport secretary Stephen Byers has awarded only short term extensions to railway passenger service franchises, saying this will enable quick improvements. The policy is expected to discourage investment with long term plans unclear. The SRA view advocating 'strong investment within long term franchises' appears to have been overruled.

Plans to sack Old Labour transport select committee chair Gwyneth Dunwoody led to embarrassing u-turn after a backbenchers' revolt.

London Underground: Government has aggressively pursued PPP for the Underground, awarding contracts before winning the judicial review of the project sought by London mayor Ken Livingstone.

Energy: The energy policy review was ordered after fears the UK may miss Kyoto targets to reduce greenhouse gases and become dependent on imported fuels. The review will assess options for the UK's power generating infrastructure to 2050.

Construction: Government extended the Rethinking Construction initiative to improve industry practice and efficiency by two years to March 2002.

Planning: New planning guidelines - PPG 25 - to limit building on floodplains to 'essential infrastructure' were published by DTLR. Reform to speed up the planning process for major infrastructure schemes announced.

Parliament will approve schemes of 'national importance'.

Investment: The government has confirmed plans to use the Private Finance Initiative as the cornerstone of investment in hospitals and schools. But stiff opposition remains from trade unions and backbenchers over workers' conditions and private profits.

Roads: Byers unexpectedly rejected the £150M Hastings bypass scheme. Government doubled extra funding to local authorities for costs of flood repairs to roads to £23M, but councils say £100M is needed.

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