BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Monday, 30 October 2006, 16:06 GMT
Protesters unfurl anti-M1 banners
banner on the M1
The banners say 'no' to M1 widening
Opponents of the widening of the UK's main motorway have unfurled banners to promote their anti-pollution message.

Banners with slogans such as "Climate Emergency" and "More roads = more cars" were draped over motorway bridges from Sheffield to Luton on Monday.

The No Widening M1 Alliance claim the 3.74bn project will cause environmental damage.

But the Highways Agency said the widening will improve journey time, road safety and reduce driver stress.

Too many cars

The protest coincides with the release of the Stern Review on climate change which said scientific evidence of global warming was "overwhelming" and its consequences "disastrous".

The banners were being displayed at locations in Sheffield, Nottingham, Derby, Leicester and Luton on Monday morning.

The protesters are calling for the money from the project to be invested in measures that will reduce road transport and its contribution to climate change.

This project will create additional capacity to allow that traffic to flow efficiently
Tony Turton, Highways Agency

Julie White, a spokesperson for the No Widening M1 Alliance said: "Road transport contributes 21% of UK CO2 emissions which cause global warming and rises every year as traffic increases.

"Higher levels of these gases are causing the climate to change at a speed never seen before in human history."

The widening plans for the M1 include four lanes in both directions between junctions 21 and 42 (Leicester to Leeds).

There is also widening planned for junctions 10 to 13 (Luton to Milton Keynes) and the M1 between junctions 6a and 10 (M25 - Luton) is being widened at the moment.

The Highways Agency is to expand three-lane sections into four with an additional crawler lane on hills for lorries to use.

Tony Turton, of the Highways Agency, said earlier: "Journey times are predicted to rise on this particular section between 50% and 60% by 2030.

"This project will create additional capacity to allow that traffic to flow efficiently."

Construction work is scheduled to begin in 2007.

See protest action

Climate change fight 'can't wait'
30 Oct 06 |  Business
M1 expansion moves closer
14 Apr 04 |  Derbyshire
Road widening plan for future
28 Jul 03 |  Nottinghamshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific