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What the papers say

'One of the strengths of Labour's White Paper is that there are no magic solutions. The way ahead... is through a large number of initiatives up and down the country and with very little extra call on Treasury money.'

The Guardian

'Mr Prescott's policy baggage contains few carrots. Over the next three years, his department will spend an extra £1.3bn on measures to improve travel by bus, rail and bicycle. This will pay for a medley of well-meaning palliatives. But such interventions amount to no more than a hillock of band-aids.'

The Times

'Though the White Paper is less wrong-headed than was once feared, there is no disguising the fact that it is bad news for drivers... The assumption implicit in the White Paper, that people drive chiefly because of the paucity of public transport, is wrong. Life in rural areas, for example, would be unbearable without cars; as would be life, for many with small children... For many businesses too, cars are obligatory... And the car has liberated women. No amount of investment in public transport will make hanging around on a station platform after dark an attractive alternative to driving. To be anti-car is therefore to be anti-countryside, anti business, anti-women and anti-children'.

The Daily Telegraph

'The White Paper's proposals for road congestion charges, parking taxes and road tolls are in principle good economic sense. Despite increases in fuel taxes, motorists still do not pay enough to compensate for the external burden that cars impose.'

The Financial Times

'It is obvious ministers have decided to adopt the approach of the carrot and not the stick. They hope we will change our ways and, if we do not, they might - just might - do something about it... White Paper? More like carte blanche to the motorist.'

The Express

'The White Paper's legacy will be mostly symbolic, the moment that state decided to start tackling our reliance on the motor car.'

The Independent

'With everything out of town these days - shopping malls, cinemas, leisure centres - the car is not a luxury. It is essential. Much of Prescott's transport plan is well intentioned... But there is no way the Government will turn Britain into bike-mad nation like China. Not even with bigger bike sheds.'

The Sun

'The truth is that Britain's public transport system lacks both funding and a coherent strategy and little in Mr Prescott's opus changes that.'

The Daily Mail

'If John Prescott is to live up to his promise to make public transport genuinely dependable, he will need ruthless commitment... In this White Paper the steel flashes but the blade is soft. The most likely outcome is that nothing much will change before Mr Prescott qualifies for his bus pass.'

The London Evening Standard

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