New roads force people from their homes

* More than a thousand houses bought * Only 6% demolished, however * Liberal Democrats attack Highways Agency...

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What Car? Staff
06 January 2009

The Highways Agency has been accused of forcing thousands of people out of their homes for no reason.

The Agency has been allowed to buy properties that get in the way of proposed road schemes since 1995 - during which time it has issued 1776 compulsory purchase orders.

However, figures obtained by the Liberal Democrats reveal that just 6% of the properties bought were demolished, with 63% sold on.

Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker said: 'It seems clear that in many cases people have been forced out of their homes for no good reason.'

A Highways Agency spokesman, said: 'If a scheme does not go ahead, a dwelling will be considered surplus and sold at market value.'