£180 billion to fix transport or save New Labour?

The Government launched its ten-year transport plan in July promising investments of £180 billion to reverse decades of underfunding. 1 But its focus on prestige, high-cost schemes rather than effective low-tech solutions, coupled with its reluctance to deal with growing traffic volumes, suggest that the plan is as much about boosting New Labour's popularity as it is about addressing the nation's transport problems. With a third of the money going on motorways and trunk roads, the plan also conflicts directly with the Government's target for carbon dioxide emissions and is likely to run into difficulties with EC legislation on wildlife habitats.

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