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News stand What the papers say

The Times

The government is being accused of wasting £9M on a campaign to recruit 'school travel co-ordinators' to discourage parents driving their children to school.

Research carried out by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine claims the scheme has had little impact on traffic congestion and reducing child obesity. They added that money would have been better spent on traffic calming measures around schools.

Network Rail chiefs are poised to introduce a ban on major property developments in an effort to ensure the rail operator concentrates on running the railways. Its predecessor, Railtrack was criticised for making millions of pounds from property deals when the rail network was in a state of disrepair.

Financial Times

London's underground Royal Mail railway, which carries parcels and letters across the city, is up for sale.

Operating the railway costs four times as much as sending post by road. At its peak, it transported 7M bags of letters, but now handles just 3.4M a week.

Transport secretary Alistair Darling is proposing to tackle motorway congestion by scrapping car tax and introducing tolls. The Department for Transport said it was unfair to expect heavy road users and occasional drivers to pay the same tax.

London's Square Mile is to receive an 'early warning system' in the event of terrorist attack. Government officials and City businesses met last week to discuss how to pass on information so that companies could update their security plans.

Daily Telegraph

An engineer who set up a company to steal 4km of railway track worth £250,000 has been jailed for two years. Glen Pendleton led a labour force to dismantle the disused Leamside line in Sunderland.

A £95,000 desk commemorating the achievements of 19th century engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel went on sale last week. The Brunel Desk, produced by Viscount Linley incorporates a nickel-plated replica of the Clifton Suspension Bridge along one of its shelves and a motif of the Thames Tunnel on the outer doors.

The Independent

Energy minister, Brian Wilson has announced plans for a £2M drive to win the 'hearts and minds' of the public and the oil and gas industry to achieve government targets for renewable energy development.

France is planning to tax journeys by foreign and domestic lorries to help fund new high-speed railway lines and motorways. The tax on all trucks travelling on toll-free highways could raise £710M a year.

The Guardian

Train operators were attacked this week for high noise levels coming from warning horns on new hi-tech trains. The horns comply with current safety rules, which require levels of over 120 decibels but the Noise Abatement Society has received over 1,000 complaints from around the country.

British Airways has urged the government to build runways at Heathrow and Gatwick. But unlike airport operator BAA it does not want new capacity at Stansted.

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