'Local authorities will be given the tools necessary to develop quality public transport in their areas and to tackle road congestion and pollution. The Bill will enable local councils and bus operators to deliver more through-ticketing, higher quality buses, more frequent services and better information. We cannot solve all our transport problems overnight, but we have already made good headway. We have levered an increased investment and the measures contained in the Bill pave the way for a better transport system for everyone.'
It is not expected that charges will be introduced 'for at least four or five years' except in London where the soon-to-be-elected London Mayor and the capital's boroughs have already been given the powers in the Greater London Authority Act 1999 to introduce charges - possibly as soon as 2003 depending on the outcome of the election.