The Government's long-awaited review of the roads programme saw neither the expected widespread cuts, nor a return to wide-scale road building. (A full list of the schemes given go-ahead or axed appears on page 10).
Of 125 schemes reviewed:
37 schemes worth £1.4bn will go ahead, including a £210M A1(M) improvement, a £125M Stonehenge tunnel, and the £94M widening between Junctions 12- 15 of the M25. 20 schemes are at 'start of work' stage.
18 schemes worth in excess of £500M were cancelled. Worst hit was the motorway widening programme, with projects on the M1, M5, M11, M23 and M25 all getting the chop.
44 schemes were handed over to the new Regional Planning Conferences (NCE 23 July) to be further appraised.
19 schemes were 'detrunked' and handed over to local authorities (NCE 23 July). The projects, which include the proposed Poole Harbour Crossing, will be funded at local level if the authorities decide to proceed.
Seven schemes were 'not sufficiently advanced' for the Government to reach a decision.
Eleven other schemes were given the go-ahead by the Government in its 'accelerated review' last summer (NCE 7 August 1997). Three are now under construction.