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'NEW ROADS A LAST RESORT' SAYS STRANG

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Building new roads will be a 'solution of the last resort' to the problems of congestion and pollution, transport m...
Building new roads will be a 'solution of the last resort' to the problems of congestion and pollution, transport minister, Gavin Strang told the British Road Federation last week.

Setting out the Government's broad approach to road building, Dr Strang said he expected the current far reaching roads review to result in fewer new schemes.

'I don't want to pre-judge the outcome of the Review but, against our criteria of accessibility, safety, economy, the environment and integration we are likely to end up with a slimmed down programme,'

he told the Federation's Annual Conference at Warwick University.

Dr Strang said the Government accepted that an effective transport infrastructure was vital to sustain a vibrant and successful economy.

'But we do not accept that this needs to be achieved simply by building more roads. Predict and provide is dead.'

Dr Strang pointed out that there were alternatives which could be used to help reduce 'a congestion which strangles our economy and pollutes our environment.'

'There is no quick fix solution for all our congestion problems. That's why we are looking closely at a wide range of options, including demand management, and in the final analysis, new roads. But there is a big difference in this Government's approach - we see new roads as a last resort rather than a first.

'The Roads Review will enable us to develop a new, sustainable roads policy for the next millennium. We aim to take a strategic view and judge proposals on the criteria of accessibility, safety, economy, the environment and integration. The whole process will take place in parallel with the development of an integrated transport policy.

Dr Strang continued:

'Developing a forward looking, integrated transport policy, which supports a strong economy and contributes to a sustainable environment is a huge challenge for the Government and the country.

'Although there are difficult decisions ahead, we will not shrink from doing what is right to build for the needs of a modern country on the move.'

NOTES

1. Responses to the consultation paper entitled ' What Role for Trunk Roads in England' should be sent by Friday 14 November 1997 to: Mr C G M McQuilkin, Highways Policy and Programme Division Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, Zone 3/1, Great Minster House

76 Marsham Street LONDON SW1P 4DR

2. Responses to the consultation paper entitled 'Developing an Integrated Transport Policy - an invitation to contribute', should be sent by Friday 14 November 1997 to:Ms C Spink, Integrated Transport Division, Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions, Zone 1/26, Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street LONDON SW1P 4DR

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