They found that expanding a 51-mile stretch of the M6 motorway between Birmingham and Manchester from three to four lanes will cost £2.9bn over three years, or £1,000 per inch of tarmac.
This is enough to pay for 67,000 miles of cycle track, enough to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End sixty-seven times, and fifty-eight times the money needed to provide all 25 million UK households with information about public transport in their area. The latter could decrease UK car use by 10%.
Transport 2000 released these figures in anticipation of government’s biggest spending review for 10 years, due to be published on 17 October this year. The group are also scrutinising the costs of other road widening projects, including widening parts of the M1 at a combined cost of £5.1bn. Rebecca Lush, a campaigner at Transport 2000 said that the group aimed to make ‘representations to government about what bad value for money this is’.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist July 2007