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Volume 407: debated on Tuesday 24 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if he will estimate the cost to business in the last 12 months of congestion on the M6 motorway around Birmingham. [121112]

To obtain a measure of congestion—and the resultant costs—on individual motorway links consistent with most congestion indicators, it would be necessary to measure journey times and speeds as they vary hour-by-hour and day-by-day. Regular measurement of journey times at this level of detail has not been carried out in the past, mainly because of the extremely high costs that would be involved. However, the opening of the Traffic Control Centre next year will greatly improve our knowledge of traffic conditions and will lead to comprehensive information on journey times and speeds being made generally available to the travelling public.