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Government urged to build more bypasses

ROAD LOBBYISTS said this week that 246 more bypasses are needed in the UK on top of the 100 promised in the Government's 10 year transport plan.

A UK-wide survey published today by the British Roads Federation claims that this is the number of bypass schemes withdrawn by local authorities since 1995.

The report aims to put into context claims of a government U-turn in favour of road building in the 10 year plan.

'The Government plans 100 bypasses, but these figures show there could be up to three times as many schemes identified by highway authorities, ' says the report.

It urges the Government to reconsider. 'It may be that some of these schemes were dropped following the publication of the Transport White Paper in 1998 which emphasised the importance of non road based solutions, but which might be reconsidered in light of the emphasis given to bypasses in the 10 year plan.'

The survey gives a status report on the 718 bypass proposals announced since 1995.

Ninety have opened, 113 have been given a start date, 75 are in future plans, 174 are under review, 20 are still under construction and 246 have been withdrawn.

In the same week, another report issued by 14 environmental groups warns the Government against the environmental catastrophe resulting from more road building. It warns of the destruction of 28 sites of special scientific interest and eight areas of outstanding natural beauty as a result of the construction of 50 new road schemes over the next 10 years.

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