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03Feb94 UK: ROADS PLANS TAKE BIG STEP FORWARD.

Four road schemes together worth nearly £200 million have seen major developments.Three have moved forward but a fourth - the £35 million Aylesbury bypass - has been thrown into the melting pot.These developments come against a backcloth which shows the Department of Transport is struggling to maintain forward momentum against financial and environmental constraints.The jewel in the crown of the latest proposals is the £106 million Derby Southern bypass on which the DoT has been able to confirm plans. Work could start later this year to end in 1996.The 30.3 km route will link Hilton and the M1 motorway and is part of the A564 Stoke-Derby link.The DoT has also proposed a £28 million scheme to widen junctions 18-19 of the M5 to include major maintenance to the Avonmouth Bridge, which has been costed separately.The orange route has been chosen for the £13.5 million Poynton-Macclesfield improvement in Cheshire and the department is to go out to consultation.But the DoT has abandoned its public consultation at Aylesbury and roads minister Robert Key is to ask the about-to-be-formed Highways Agency to look at the scheme again.This reappraisal could also take in a northern route which means the scheme could be delayed for two years or scuppered altogether. CONSTRUCTION NEWS