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M6 Expressway - the 'con' in consultation

Road Block | 22.07.2005 08:26 | Ecology | Birmingham

On 19 July the government announced it was going to press ahead with plans for the 50 mile M6 Expressway tolled motorway between Birmingham and Manchester. This is despite 98% of 9528 consulatation respondents stating they did not want the road.

Road Block reacted with anger as the government announced plans to press ahead with a new 50 mile tolled motorway from Birmingham to Manchester, even though consultation responses showed 98% opposed the scheme (1).

There were 9528 responses to the consultation with only 106 in favour of the scheme, and 9313 against.

Rebecca Lush of Road Block said:

"By disregarding 98% of public opinion the government is demonstrating the 'con' in consultation This disastrous proposal could not have produced a more overwhelming rejection of road building. This shows the government doesn't care about tackling traffic growth, climate change, protecting the countryside, or public opinion. If the government ignores public opinion, Road Block believes it will create the cynicism with the political process that sparked the direct action protests against road building in the 1990s".

Road Block also believes that the government is considering new 'parallel' tolled motorways throughout the country (2).

"The government is not serious about tackling traffic growth and climate change. Instead of building new motorways, the government should be tolling existing roads, putting the money into public transport alternatives and reducing traffic growth. Road building simply generates more traffic and shows the government is not serious in tackling the spiralling CO2 emissions from road transport". (3)

Notes to Editors

(1)The table of results of the consultation are at
A consultation into the proposed motorway was announced in July 2004. The consultation period ended in October 2004, with the West Midlands Regional Assembly rejecting the scheme, and statutory bodies raising serious concerns.

(2) It is believed the government is considering new tolled motorways alongside the M1, M4, M5 and M62,and possibly others

(3) Transport accounts for 25% of CO2 emissions in the UK, with road transport making up 80% of those emissions. Transport is the fastest growing source of CO2, and so the sector most critical to tackle. It also remains the area the government is least willing to tackle, instead increasing the problem by building more roads.encouraging more traffic.

(4) Department for Transport press release is at

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