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Volume 400: debated on Monday 3 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what environmental impact assessments he (a) has studied, (b) has commissioned and (c) intends to commission regarding the proposed widening of the M6 motorway between junctions 11 and 20; [99368](2) what assessment he has made of the effect of the opening of the M6 toll road in 2004 on the volumes of traffic using the M6 motorway between junctions 11 and 20; [99370](3) what proposals he has for widening the M6 motorway between junctions 6 and 11. [99369]

The environmental assessments carried out in the mid 1990s, at the time of the previous widening proposals, are currently being reviewed and updated by the Highways Agency with a view to a widening scheme between Junctions 11 and 20 being included in the Government's Targeted Programme of Improvements. Should such a scheme be accepted into the Programme as a result, a full environmental impact assessment would be prepared to reflect the new proposals.The effects of the opened M6 Toll Road on M6 traffic levels were assessed when the toll road was being planned. More recently, the West Midlands to North West Conurbation Multi Modal Study, which gave rise to the present widening proposals between Junctions 11 and 20, also took account of the implications of the toll road opening. The effects will be evaluated in more detail as the widening proposals aredeveloped.There are no proposals to widen the M6 between Junctions 6 and 11.