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Road projects in pipeline could be scrapped

Transport secretary Ruth Kelly has admitted that tough decisions on the future of roads building will have to be made which will see some proposed projects dropped.

Speaking about the Department for Transport’s Annual Report she told the House of Commons Transport Committee: “The over-estimation of costs [in the past] will have a major impact. We need to see what is deliverable for the roads programme and I will then make a statement to parliament on what projects will go ahead.”

The future roads programme will be assessed road by road to work out what jobs are affordable, where the road network could be put to better use and where active traffic management could help traffic flow.

A definitive statement is expected before the summer.

Mrs Kelly also told the committee she is happy with how the department has responded to the Nichols Review, which highlighted the shortcomings of the Highways Agency in terms of cost estimating.

She added: “Measures have been taken in the last year and I’m confident that the changes mean that the agency will manage risks in the future.”