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17 June 2010, 05:00
Over £600 million worth of local transport projects in the East of England are under threat as the Department for Transport reviews its spending commitments, according to the Campaign for Better Transport.
The upcoming Budget is expected to outline spending cuts over the coming years.
The Campaign group say that if the Government decides to cut local transport spending by 10%, then £244 million worth of projects will need to be cut. They claim cuts of 25% mean that schemes worth £357 million would need to be cancelled whilst a 50% cut would leave just £123 million to spend on local transport schemes and mean cutting projects worth £545 million.
Amongst the projects the group say should be scrapped include the scheme to widen the A14 around Huntingdon and the plan to build a link road between the M1 and A5 around Dunstable.
Richard George, roads and climate campaigner for the Campaign for Better Transport, said, “With tough times ahead, the East of England must be careful to fund to the right schemes. They can fund a handful of big projects, like the A11 Fiveways to Thetford, the A5-M1 Link Road and the Norwich Northern Distributor Road, which means most areas won’t see any investment for several years, or invest in lower cost solutions which would spread the benefits more widely.”
“Councils should accept that their £100 million road schemes just aren’t viable any more. Instead, they should start looking into more affordable ways to solve their transport problems while working towards UK climate change targets.”