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Contractors sceptical about Kelly's £6bn roads bonanza

Contractors have today called on the Department for Transport (DfT) to clarify how it proposes to manage the UK's strategic road network by setting out in detail which major projects will be constructed up to 2014.

The call follows the DfT's publication on Wednesday of its Command Paper, Roads - Delivering Choice and Reliability, which promotes Active Traffic Management (ATM) or motorway management schemes such as hard shoulder running as the solution to easing congestion on Britain's roads.

The paper sets out a long list of planned widening schemes, such as M25 J5-10 and M62 J25-30 that could now be scrapped in favour of hard shoulder running.

CECA Director Rosemary Beales said: "All the forecasts are for road usage to go up over the next twenty years but despite this, no firm decisions have been made by the Secretary of State for developing new capacity.

"The Paper includes a long list of major widening projects being 'considered for construction' over the next six years - or being considered for hard shoulder running. It appears to be jam today and maybe jam tomorrow.

"The DfT announcement implies that few projects are likely to be going ahead in the next few years -particularly 2009/10. Ruth Kelly should come clean on this. We need to know what is going to be built and when.

"An efficient transport system underpins our quality of life and is a key driver of economic growth. Contractors have the expertise and ability to deliver excellent major roads projects but they need a clear idea of the level of demand if the Government is to get the best value."

Click here to download a full copy of the Command Paper, Roads - Delivering Choice and Reliability.

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