Second M6 toll plans scrapped
- £3.5 billion extra cost 'not sustainable'
- M6 to be widened instead
- Roadworks misery between junctions 11a and 19
Plans for the UK’s second tolled expressway have been shelved, Transport Minister Stephen Ladyman said.
The Expressway would have run parallel to the M6. Instead, plans to improve the road network between Birmingham and Manchester will now concentrate on widening the motorway by one lane in each direction between junctions 11a and 19.
Following a detailed review of the various plans, it was found that the Expressway would require 50% more land than the widening programme, could not be delivered any quicker, and would cost £3.5 billion more.
Ladyman said: 'Having considered all the options, I am clear that the right way forward is for the Highways Agency to focus on delivering one extra lane in each direction on the M6.'
The second M6 toll's chances of success looked dim after massive opposition in consultation exercises last year. The Government received 9528 responses, 4864 against the Expressway and 4363 against both the toll road and widening of the M6.
There may have one less toll road in the near future, but plans for pay-per-mile charging on all of Britain’s roads are still very much on course. The scheme could replace the current system of Vehicle Excise Duty, and charge motorists as much as £1.30 per mile.
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