Anorak News | M6 Widening Costs £1,000 An Inch

M6 Widening Costs £1,000 An Inch

by | 31st, July 2007

AS the quest to cover the whole of the country in motorways continues, eyebrows are being raised at the growing cost of the M6 widening project.

A 51-mile stretch of the motorway between Birmingham and Manchester is currently being widened to incorporate a new lane with the cost of the construction now estimated to eventually hit £2.9billion, or around £897 per inch, which will rise to over a grand when inflation is factored in.

In responding to criticism over the massive costs, Roger Bailey of engineering consultancy Faber Maunsell says: “In a greenfield site you are in control of your construction planning. But on a live road you have to work round more traffic.”

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors point to the massive Olympic construction project as a reason behind by rising costs. A spokesman says: “There’s a lot of road building going on. The price of construction is going up because there is a lot of work around. Road building is an international market. In the last 10 years costs have gone up 7-9% a year.”

However, Rebecca Lush, a campaigner with Transport 2000, is understandably unimpressed. Says she: “This must be the most expensive roadworks in history. Britain is spending £13bn on new roads and next to nothing on reducing road traffic or railways. This is a complete waste of resources which will only increase the numbers of cars on the road and make climate change worse. £1,000 an inch is a scandal. The money should be put towards rail schemes or projects which would reduce climate change emissions rather than increase them.”

The UK is now one of the most car dependant countries in the world, with cars travelling 506 billion kilometres in Britain between 2005 and 2006, up 7 billion from the year before.

Still, with rail fares set to rise again, can you blame commuters for sticking with their cars?

Posted: 31st, July 2007 | In: Money Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink