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Transport consultation papers due out this month, says DETR

CONSULTATION documents on nationwide congestion charging and non-residential car park charging are due to be published this month, Fleet NewsNet has been told. The Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions' confirmation of the publication of the two documents, along with a number of other transport-related consultation papers, follows the Queen's Speech where no specific transport measures were among the 22 bills planned for the new Parliamentary year.

It had been widely expected that publication of the Government's integrated transport white paper in the summer would be followed by a far-reaching legislative transport programme in the 1998/99 Parliamentary year. The failure of the Government to announce a Bill which would see the introduction of nationwide road charging - along with workplace car park charging - was seen as one of the biggest victims among the measures not included in the Queen's Speech.

There is speculation that it is unlikely road charging could be introduced before the next general election. The lack of any specific legislation as a result of the white paper has been widely condemned. The AA described it as 'disappointing but not entirely surprising'.

Alan Pulham, franchise director of the Retail Motor Industry Federation, said: 'Having waited so long for the integrated transport white paper it was extremely disappointing to see that the Queen's speech contained no reference to or suggestion of any activity in the forthcoming session of Parliament. And Philippe Op de Beeck, managing director of Axus UK, said: 'Considering the hype which surrounded the white paper Axus is surprised at the decision not to legislate on the majority of its content.'

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