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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 February 2007, 15:51 GMT
M6 widening plans blighting homes
Cars on motorway - generic
The road widening scheme on the M6 will cost up to 3bn
Residents in Staffordshire have said plans to widen the M6 north of Birmingham to Manchester were already affecting the value of their homes.

The government scheme, costing up to 3bn, would provide an extra lane on the carriageway by 2017.

But residents in Stafford said they were already having difficulty selling their homes due to the plans.

However, local business leaders have said the widening was necessary to help the region's economy.

The government announced it was backing the widening scheme in July when Transport minister, Stephen Ladyman, scrapped proposals to build a second motorway alongside the existing road from junction 11a, near Cannock, to junction 19 at Holmes Chapel in Cheshire.

House sales

The government said the widening was vital to the local economy to ease congestion.

Gordon Ravenscroft, who lives in Rising Brook in Stafford, said: "I know for a fact it is stopping house sales going through.

"People just come up and hear the noise and that's it."

Prof Andrew Dobson from the local branch of the Green Party said the widening scheme would not benefit the locality.

Losing investment

"This road widening will effectively allow traffic to move quickly between Birmingham and Manchester, it's not being built for Stoke-on-Trent.

"So it's irresponsible to say this is going to be good for local businesses."

But the chairman of the North Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce, Bryan Carnes, said reducing congestion would help the economy

"We have a lot of business in north Staffordshire who rely on the M6 they can't predict their journey times.

"We have evidence of people who have invested south of Birmingham rather than have to trouble, on an almost daily basis, with the M6."

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