In an effort to ease rush hour congestion in London, Inner Cities minister David Trippier yesterday announced a Government-backed scheme called Frontline Initiative to move computer-based jobs out of London and into the five Northern cities of Preston, Leeds, Doncaster, Nottingham and Birmingham. The centres will be networked to the central offices of 15 big companies including British Telecom, Marks & Spencer, British Rail, Shell, Barclays Bank and British Petroleum and their Northern employees (or telecommuters) will command similar salaries to London-based colleagues without facing the daily anguish of commuting, while the companies will save on recruitment and relocation costs, as well as on rents. The government has pledged UKP300,000 to get the Initiative up and running to which companies are expected to add another UKP500,000; it is projected that within five years up to 4m people in the computer industry could work from provincial bases.
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