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The Nottingham no M1 widening group had a presence on both days, despite random hail storms, to give members of the public the other side of the argument. That building more roads just increases the traffic and pollution levels, and that what we need is investment in public transport.
The response from the people going to the exhibition was excellent, and they were very supportive of our campaign. Lots of them signed letters we had prepared that will be sent to Alistair Darling objecting to the proposed widening (text of which is at the end of this article).
The highways agency when pressed on the issue of better investment in public transport said "but you the public would have to pay for it" where do they think the funding is comming from for the road widening?
for further exhibition dates.
Rt Hon Alistair Darling
Secretary of State for Transport
Department of Transport
Great Minster House
76 Marsham Street
Dear Mr Darling,
I am writing to you to register my opposition to the proposed widening of the M1.
Road building in general terms has been shown to increase traffic and therefore not be a solution to congestion problems. Also any measures that might increase traffic growth are clearly counter-productive to the government’s aim of reducing CO2 emissions, and taking serious action on climate change.
With regards to the M1 there are two obvious and cheap alternatives to the congestion problem. Reducing the speed limit, to perhaps 55 mph would reduce bunching and improve flow. From this reduced speed limit there would also be additional benefits of increased fuel efficiency and hopefully a reduction in accidents. Secondly there could be a concerted effort to move freight onto the railways.
My final point is the obscene quantity of money these schemes cost. The estimate for the widening of the road between junctions 30-42 alone is £1.3 billion. This money would be better spent on making public transport cheaper and more reliable.
I look forward to your response on this matter.