asked Her Majesty's Government:Whether they are considering planning a network of 12-lane superhighways, currently described as "stage two widening", and if so, whether they will publish a map, and whether such widening would require the usual, full, statutory procedures for new roads, or whether it is intended to derive widening to 12 lanes from the original orders.
No such network is planned. In carrying out its motorway widening programme, generally to produce a dual four-lane standard, the Government use the parallel widening technique where they can, since this represents good value for money, and greatly minimises disruption to traffic and enhances safety during construction. The technique necessitates new bridges which are wider than required for the eventual carriageway width. They could accommodate limited further widening, but any such widening would be subject to normal approval procedures.