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Motorways: Carbon Emissions

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the annual change in carbon dioxide emissions expected to result from the planned motorway widening programme by 2015. (197541)

[holding answer 31 March 2008]: Following the recent publication of the advanced motorway signalling and traffic management feasibility study, hard shoulder running will now be considered for the schemes which were due to be widened, apart from the first two sections of the M25 widening scheme'.

The feasibility study modelled the emissions impacts of a programme of planned widening schemes comprising all the motorway elements of the Highways Agency's current major schemes programme, plus widening of the M6 from the north of Birmingham to Knutsford, for the year 2015. This high level analysis showed an increase in CO2 of 0.3 megatonnes (an increase of 0.3 per cent.) for the widening package, compared to 0.2 megatonnes (0.2 per cent.) if all the widening schemes were to be replaced with hard shoulder running. This is compared to a reference case with no improvements to these parts of the motorway network. Year-on-year impacts were not modelled. Further details are included in the study report, available online at: