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Delayed road schemes 'threaten 10 year plan'

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CONTINUED DELAYS to key road improvement schemes will cause the government's 10 year transport plan to fail, business lobbyist the CBI claimed this week.

The CBI fears the 575km of motorway widening and 200 local road improvements are not being brought forward fast enough.

The warning is made in the CBI's review of the government's transport plans, published this week. It comes on top of earlier criticism of the plan by the Commission for Integrated Transport and the Commons' transport select committee.

A CBI spokesman said it was particularly concerned over the lack of motorway widening schemes with a definite completion date before 2010. It was also disappointed by last week's announcement that plans to upgrade the M6 to dual four lanes will not be completed until 2021.

'The business community wants to know why it will be 20 years before vital widening schemes such as this one will be completed, ' he said.

The two thirds reduction in major local transport scheme approvals compared to last year was also highlighted by the CBI as a concern.

And local authority bids for major local transport schemes have almost halved due to lack of staff or resources to develop proposals, says the report.

'If the plan is to deliver 200 major local road improvements, more schemes need to be brought forward by local authorities before 2005à to allow them to be operational by 2010. On current trends this looks unlikely, ' it says .

INFOPLUS www. cbi. org. uk

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