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Vital role for roads

The review of the Scottish Roads Programme will not be announced until November. However, the general thrust was revealed by the transport White Paper last week.

Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar said: 'The policy recognises that in many areas of Scotland, the car will continue to be the main form of transport. Road systems will provide a vital link both for private users and commerce.'

In the current financial year Scotland will spend £156M on its roads. This will rise to £163M next year, £175M in 1999-00 and £186M in 2000-01.

However, some major schemes face the axe. Scottish transport minister Calum MacDonald said: 'It is clear that massive expenditure of the type proposed by the last government, for example, increasing the M8 to 10 or 14 lanes, is not compatible with both environmental imperatives and the need to target resources at tackling the huge backlog of repairs and maintenance left behind.'

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