State of the nation: So, Tony, on a scale of one to ten, how does your government rate? Transport: 4/10


1. Get rid of lead in petrol by the end of 1999.

2. Use tax and duty to encourage cleaner vehicles and fuels.

3. Find new money for rural buses, with a 1,500 new or expanded services.

4. Introduce a national public transport information system.

5. Cut back on road-building.


The Government admits its promise to introduce an integrated transport system, could take some years to attain. The goal is vague, so it will be hard to establish whether and when it has been achieved. Everyone accepts that it is a long way off.

On environmentally friendly cars, the Tories granted tax breaks on unleaded petrol; the Chancellor has given the process an additional "tweak".

The provision of rural buses has been nudged and the roads programme refocused. The national information system seems to have slipped into 2000. Increased use of trains can be explained by the economic upturn rather than the attractiveness of the services.