March 1998

Three first-wave pilots go live in Milton Keynes, Preston and Northumbria.

August 1998

Second wave of 13 pilots announced, to be up and running by 30 April.

They are:

West Midlands, Newcastle and the North East, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Oxford, West Country, Essex, West London, South London, Nottinghamshire, East Yorkshire and Hull, West Yorkshire

North-west Lancashire, Manchester, Hampshire.

26 March 1999

Deadline for third-wave proposals (to be up and running by December, to cover 60 per cent of England).

Summer/autumn 2000

Final wave in to be operation.