Independent on Sunday - United Kingdom, May 21, 2000

BEFORE LORD Macdonald presses the button on his pounds 20bn road-building programme he would do well to visit Newbury ("Billions to be spent on new roads", 14 May). Here, only a year after a pounds 127m "investment" in a bypass, we have traffic levels at 85 per cent of the old levels at peak times, and this before the opening of the new Vodafone HQ and subsequent housing that will be built.

In addition, there are now significant queues stretching back four miles near Twyford Down, where the A34 meets the M3, as well as huge bottlenecks at Chieveley that will shortly move to Oxford once the junction is "improved". Fatalities, which were meant to disappear, have doubled.

Labour hopes this new initiative will make them the motorists' friend, but Middle England will not stand idly by as Tony Blair takes a bulldozer to our countryside for no benefit.


Ball Hill, Hampshire

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