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Government will miss road targets by consulting too much


MOTORISTS LAST week warned the government that it would miss its road building targets because projects were getting bogged down in too many consultation exercises.

They urged the government to speed up project development by dropping public consultation ahead of publishing draft orders when routes had already been identified by multi-modal studies.

Substantial public consultation has already been a major part of the studies, typically taking 18 months, AA policy director John Dawson told the Commons transport subcommittee.

Launching a similar public consultation exercise after the studies would be a waste of time, he said.

'There will be circumstances where the government could go straight ahead with draft orders, ' said Dawson. 'In some cases, there is no legal requirement for them to consult again and the schemes should be pressed on with.'

The RAC Foundation told MPs that it doubted whether the 10 year target of 30 trunk road bypasses and 576km of motorway widening could be built within 10 years.

Even with recently announced steps to accelerate the planning process, the RAC feared that the government would fall short of its road building targets. .

'We have become increasingly concerned at the limited number of projects currently available and the length of time likely to be required to redress this, ' said the RAC.

The Institute of Logistics & Transport told the committee that a recent survey of its 23,000 members showed that 88% of respondents claimed that local authorities would be unable to reduce the road maintenance backlog, build 70 bypasses and complete 25 light rail schemes.

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