8 August 2007
Transport 2000  has discovered that the government is not only considering widening the M1 between junctions 21 and 30 at a cost of £2.5bn, but is also considering using the new hard shoulder as an extra lane. This would create four new lanes of traffic, resulting in a 10-lane super highway through the East Midlands.
The government has trialled the practice of opening up the hard shoulder to traffic -- known as `hard shoulder running` -- on the M42 south or Birmingham. Hard shoulder running costs £5-10 million per mile and is a cheaper alternative to full widening, which costs £50 million a mile. But instead of just using the hard shoulder, the Government proposes to widen and use the new hard shoulder.
If taken, such an action would be the opposite of what`s required to tackle climate change, and the billions that would be spent widening the road would be better spent on investing in public transport for the region.
Notes to editors
 Annex 12 of Review of Highways Agency’s Major Roads Programme - Report to Secretary of State for Transport . Mike Nichols, Chairman & Chief Executive, The Nichols Group, March 2007: http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roads/nicholsreport/nicholsreport