PRESS RELEASE 4TH MARCH 2008
GROUP AGAINST MOTORWAY EXPANSION
Ruth Kelly, Transport Secretary, has today announced an intention to roll out the use of the hard shoulder to reduce congestion on motorways. She said "The results of a Department for Transport feasibility study highlight large sections of the M1, M6 and M62, where improvements are already planned, as amongst the most likely to benefit from hard shoulder running." A map of the motorway network shows that the M6 has potential to be used for this.
The Department for Transport will now be working on detailed proposals for specific stretches of road. This will also include "active traffic management" including measures such as car-sharing lanes.
"GAME" the Group against Motorway Expansion which has been campaigning against the proposed widening of the M6 through Staffordshire and Cheshire , gave a guarded welcome to the announcement. Alison Crane said "We are hopeful that this means the end of any plans to widen the motorway, but we will be pressing our MPs to ascertain that this is the case. It is also good news that the government are considering the sort of creative schemes to manage traffic such as speed limits and car-sharing that we have been advocating as a short-term response to congestion. However, hard shoulder running still allows an increase in the capacity of the motorway. GAME has always been clear that the only sustainable, long-term solution to congestion and the effects of transport on climate change is to cut traffic levels by reducing the need to travel"
Notes to editor:
1. Ruth Kelly's announcement: http://www.gnn.gov.uk/environment/fullDetail.asp?ReleaseID=357439&NewsAreaID=2&NavigatedFromDepartment=False
2. For more details please phone Alison Crane on 01785 611768 or 07886 972319