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CONGESTION CHARGES WILL COME IN WITH£6BN ROADS EXPANSION

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The government this week is set to give the green light to congestion charging across Britain's entire road network...
The government this week is set to give the green light to congestion charging across Britain's entire road network, according to The Sunday Times (p4). Alistair Darling, the transport secretary, will announce that a year long 'feasibility study' will be carried out by his department. The announcement on Wednesday will coincide with Mr Darling unveiling a £6bn scheme to expand motorways and other roads in London, the Midlands and Yorkshire. The move is likely to lead to accusations that the government has abandoned its stated aim of cutting traffic by persuading motorists to use public transport.

The £6bn in road improvements include:

- A £1bn expansion to eight lanes on an additional 60 miles of the M25, making the London orbital road four lanes each way for most of its circumference.

- Widening the M1 to eight lanes for 22 miles from London to Milton Keynes. The A14 and M11 would also be widened. The total cost of these schemes would be £1.3bn.

- Widening the M1 east of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, mostly to eight lanes, as far as junction 42, where it joins the M62. The M62 would also be widened to four lanes each way for 20 miles.

- Improvements on the A12 to Ipswich, including a 36-mile stretch of three lanes each way.

See herefor today's report from the Commission for Integrated Transport

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