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Bypass inquiry still `likely' despite lack of dissent.

Plans for a bypass around a Northumberland village on the A69 could still be the subject of a public inquiry despite support for the scheme.

There was a low response to the public consultation carried out by the Highways Agency into the Haydon Bridge bypass, which came to an end on Tuesday, with only 82 letters of objection and support.

Of these there were 64 letters of support, eight letters of support but with representations about parts of the plans, and 10 letters of objection.

This means just under 30% of the 300 people who attended the three-day public exhibition in Haydon Bridge made comments about the proposed route.

But a spokesperson for the Highways Agency said he thought it was "highly likely the plans would have to go to a public inquiry."

A decision will be made in the next few weeks.

Campaigners for the bypass say they will now gather as much evidence of support as they can to take to any public inquiry.

They had hoped the bypass would be put forward by the Regional Transport Board (RTB), set up to submit important schemes to the secretary of state, so it will not miss out on transport spending budgets. But the RTB group is yet to be established.

Eileen Charlton, of Greenwich Gardens, said: "I have been pushing people to send their letter of support, and if this does go to a public inquiry there will be a strong group of us."
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 10, 2005
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