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PRESCOTT BACKS GIANT LORRIES

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The government is set to break a manifesto pledge by giving the green light to 44-tonne lorries in the transport wh...
The government is set to break a manifesto pledge by giving the green light to 44-tonne lorries in the transport white paper this month, claimed The Observer (p6).

It will also incorporate proposals for easing congestion in city centres and giving local councils radical powers to impose road charging and non-residential parking charges, including supermarkets.

The stores will be given incentives to encourage home shopping and the use of public transport by customers and staff.

The Council for the Protection of Rural England said: 'Communities across Britain are already fed up with the terrible damage and stress caused by heavy traffic'. But the Freight Transport Association said the 44-tonners would not be bigger, just able to carry a full load.

The new limit would cut the number of larger lorries on the road from 70,000 to between 60,000 and 65,000, reducing the number of journeys and environmental damage.

The Observer (p26) also carries an article on the politics and financial sticks and carrots underlying the white paper.

The Independent (p2, June 6) reported that environment secretary John

Prescott is being advised on policy by a former lobbyist for a firm

representing road and rail companies.

Mike Craven, who worked for Mr Prescott in the 1980s, has worked for the public affairs firm Market Access for the last year. Among it's clients last year were the RAC, Rover Group, Toyota and Vauxhall.

Mr Craven is reportedly helping with Mr Prescott's planned white paper to curb car use in towns and cities, giving local councils powers to levy congestion charges on motorists who bring their cars into cities at peak times, among other measures described as radical.

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