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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 August, 2004, 09:18 GMT 10:18 UK
Council opposes second toll road
Toll gates at the M6 Toll near Birmingham
The new motorway would join the existing M6 Toll road
Borough councillors in Staffordshire are being told not to support plans to build Britain's second private toll motorway through the county.

The 50-mile highway, linking Birmingham to Manchester, would go alongside the M6 with two northbound lanes and two going south, according to plans.

The scheme was announced by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling in July.

But councillors in Newcastle are being recommended to back widening the existing M6 instead.

Capacity 'doubled'

A report says that doing nothing is not an option because of the increasing amount of traffic.

The public consultation period for the government scheme will last until late September, during which time local people, councils and businesses can put forward their views.

The new motorway would join the M6 Toll, which by-passes north Birmingham, and would be twice as long.

Mr Darling told MPs in July that the project would "double the capacity" at a lower cost than widening the existing M6.

Charges on the M6 Toll increased on Monday, to 2 for motorbikes, 3 for cars and 6 for vans.

The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones
"There are strong opinions on both sides of this argument"

M6 Toll road opens
09 Dec 03  |  Staffordshire
Plan to widen M6
17 Jan 02  |  England

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