MG plan could take 30 years
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01 Government consultants are recommending that a 60mile stretch of the M6 between Birmingham and Manchester should be widened from six to eight lanes.
The study of future transport needs along the motorway corridor between the two conurbations says that tolls should also be introduced.
The recommendations will have to be approved by regional politicians and government ministers—they could take up to 30 years to be implemented.
Widening of the M6 would start at Junction ha where it will join with the Birmingham Northern Relief Road (BNRR) and will extend up to Junction 20 south-east of Warrington.
The proposal has been welcomed by Clive Hampson, whose Smethwick-based transport company Hampson Haulage sends a quarter of its 16-vehicle fleet along the route every day.
"It can't come seen enough," he says. "When you think the BNRR will open soon, if they don't do anything they will simply move congestion further up the motorway."
Ile adds that toiling could help level the playing field between UK and foreign hauliers using the motorway, but adds: "My big fear is that it will drive certain hauliers off the motorway and onto more minor roads."
Environmental campaigners warn that widening the M6 will not remove gridlocks because it will simply generate more traffic.
The consultants recommend that tolling is not introduced until after 2021; they say that rail freight capacity along the corridor needs to be expanded as well.