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Birmingham Northern Relief Road

Volume 205: debated on Tuesday 3 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when he expects to announce an agreement for the construction of the Birmingham northern relief road; and if he will make a statement on the timetable he envisages.

I am pleased to announce that we have been able to complete with Midlands Expressway Ltd. the concession agreement for the Birmingham northern relief road. This will be the first privately financed toll motorway in the United Kingdom and the first road authorised under the provisions of the New Road and Street Works Act 1991. This project has been strongly backed by Midlands Expressway Ltd.'s parent companies, Trafalgar House and Iritecna of Italy.The new road, which should be opened in the late 1990s, will provide welcome relief to the M6 and to local traffic in the A5/A38 corridor. The agreement provides for a concession of 53 years and the concessionaire envisages that, on opening, tolls will be about £1·50 for cars and £3 for lorries at 1990 prices. The cost of engineering the Birmingham northern relief road will be some £270 million, including substantial measures for the mitigation of environmental impact.

Midlands Expressway Ltd.'s latest design reflect , significant number of changes to the scheme which . accepted as a basis for public consultation in the memorandum of agreement signed on 12 August 1991. This revised scheme will, I hope, address most of the points raised in the public consultation. Towards the end of this year I hope to bring forward orders to implement the scheme.