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Government drives on with road-pricing plans

The government is pushing ahead with plans to introduce road pricing despite huge public opposition to the proposals.Earlier this year more than two million people signed an online petition on the Downing Street website against charging people for travelling on certain roads.But a draft bill published today includes scope to create road pricing schemes in up to ten areas in England and Wales.The government insists that its proposals could improve public transport and tackle congestion, with local authorities allowed to take the action that best meets their individual transport needs."Improving public transport is vital if we are going to tackle congestion and climate change," said transport secretary Douglas Alexander.Among the proposals to be scrutinised in the House of Commons are that councils be given new powers to improve local bus services."Two-thirds of public transport journeys are made by bus, so it is only right that this bill focuses on how we improve bus services," Mr Alexander continued."The measures we have published today will give local authorities the powers they need to ensure that local bus services meet local needs as part of a broader package which will give them the flexibility they need to tackle congestion."

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