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10-lane M1 'super highway' to cost £800 an inch

8 August 2007
Transport 2000 [1] 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

[1] 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