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M54 link road plans put on hold

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Plans for a £70 million extension of the M6 Toll Road to link with Shropshire's M54 have been put on ice amid a series of government cuts. Plans for a £70 million extension of the M6 Toll Road to link with Shropshire's M54 have been put on ice amid a series of government cuts. The scheme - seen as crucial for business and commuters - is to be reviewed "to ensure the design is the best possible, and to see if there are better ways to sequence the work." Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said that it will "not enter construction until at least 2015". This means the project will not see any funding in the lifetime of this Parliament.

Plans for a £70 million extension of the M6 Toll Road to link with Shropshire's M54 have been put on ice amid a series of government cuts.

The scheme - seen as crucial for business and commuters - is to be reviewed "to ensure the design is the best possible, and to see if there are better ways to sequence the work."

Transport Secretary Philip Hammond said that it will "not enter construction until at least 2015".

This means the project will not see any funding in the lifetime of this Parliament.

The project has been put on ice as part of a spending freeze imposed by the coalition Government while it tries to tackle the UK's record budget deficit.

If approved, the link road had been expected to be completed by 2012.

Telford Labour MP David Wright said: "I think that this scheme has been effectively scrapped because it has been pushed off some distance into the future.

"I still believe that this project is crucial to our local economy because it would create construction jobs and ease the traffic flow for businesses and local people.

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"I will continue to press for the scheme to come forward as soon as possible," he added.

The scheme is one of 18 major road improvement projects around the country to be put on the back burner.

However, 16 others have been given the green light in addition to eight projects confirmed in last week's spending review.

The approved schemes include upgrades to the M60, M1, M6 and M25.

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Mr Hammond said the "essential investments" would cut congestion, improve journey times and drive economic growth.

"Every pound we spend on these schemes will generate on average £6 of benefits," he said.

And he announced an extra £600 million for local authority projects.

But he warned "this will not be enough to fund all of the schemes proposed by local authorities".

Scores of schemes - many of which have been years in development - were earmarked to go ahead under the last Labour government but were subject to review by the coalition.

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