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Motorways: West Midlands

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent steps the Government have taken to improve the motorway infrastructure in the west midlands. (256815)

Over the last three years 19 major maintenance schemes, each costing between £1 million and £5 million, have been completed; and one major project costing more than £5 million is under construction. These include resurfacing of carriageways and substantial repairs to the structures of the elevated sections of motorway within Birmingham and the Black Country.

The following improvement schemes have also been introduced to tackle particular areas of congestion, improve safety and increase capacity:

Active traffic management on the M42 east of Birmingham, which is now being extended northwards and introduced on the M40 and M6, with hard shoulder running on the M6 between junction 4 and 5, and junction 8 and 10a;

Four lengths of MIDAS (motorway incident detection and automated signalling) on the M6 and M42;

Increased capacity at the junction of the M42 and M6 toll road by adding an additional lane; and

Traffic light signalisation of several junctions on the M5 and M6 to smooth flow during peak periods.

In the Secretary of State's announcement ‘Britain's Transport Infrastructure Motorway and Major Trunk Roads’ on 15 January 2009, the following schemes that benefit the west midlands were identified as being expected to enter construction by 2015:

Hard shoulder running on the M6 from junction 5 to 8 around Birmingham

Hard shoulder running on the M6 from junction 10a to 13 north of Birmingham

Improvement of M1 junction 19, the key intersection of the M6, M1 andA14.

In addition, as part of our longer term plans to roll out hard shoulder running across the core motorway network over the next 10 to 15 years, this innovative technique is planned to be implemented on the following parts of the motorway network relevant to the west midlands:

M6 from junction 2 to 4, between Coventry and Birmingham

M6 from junction 13 to 19 in Staffordshire

M5 from junction 4a to 6, south of Birmingham

M1 junction 13 to 19, south of Rugby.