ROADS: Communities favour new bypasses

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The Independent Online
The majority of residents in towns where bypasses are planned or built welcome the road schemes, according to a report released yesterday. The study, commissioned by the RAC into the Okehampton bypass in Devon, claimed that 80 per cent of local inhabitants described the road as a "good thing".

The RAC also pointed out that many local concerns were ignored by the media in favour of arguments from road protesters. The motoring organisation claimed that there were "600 local communities" clamouring for new bypasses.

However the report did note that the controversial route chosen for the Okehampton bypass - through Dartmoor National Park - was considered by one third of local people to be "wrong". It pointed out that the bypass had not stopped heavy lorries from thundering through the small town centre.

Conducted by the Transport Research Laboratory for the RAC, the report found that almost of all those questioned said the bypass blended in well with the landscape and that more than 70 per cent of those living nearby had been bothered about dust and dirt before the road was built, but now only 28 per cent were. Randeep Ramesh