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Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 11 January 2007, Official Report, column 654W, to the hon. Member for Colchester on the M42, what contingency plans (a) his Department and (b) the Highways Agency are preparing in the event that the assessment in the autumn is in favour of hard shoulder running. (110528)

The Highways Agency is continuing to monitor the Active Traffic Management (ATM) project on the M42, which includes hard should running on parts of the network at certain times. If the trial results prove positive, subject to funding/budgetary considerations, we will consider implementing the ATM techniques where they will provide significant benefits. The Agency is reviewing the network to identify potential locations that might benefit.

In addition, I announced in December 2006 that we will work with the Highways Agency to develop the case for productivity TIF funding for the traffic management schemes on the Birmingham Motorway Box and the M62 (Leeds Bradford). The results of the Agency’s monitoring and evaluation of the M42 trial will be considered in finalising the design for these schemes, and in considering other possible applications.