Green campaigners criticise road expansion plans

M42 investment “a road to nowhere” – claim.

Birmingham Friends of the Earth have criticised plans to improve the M42 and other roads in and around Birmingham as part of £15 billion the Government has announced for new roads. Campaigners say that investment should instead be made in alternative local sustainable transport.

Commenting on the news, which comes as a package of road investment announced as part of Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, Birmingham Friends of the Earth spokesperson Julien Pritchard said: “The Government’s road expansion announcement is a road to nowhere. It will worsen air quality, just as the European Court Justice has ruled we are in breach of air quality laws.

“With poor air quality contributing to 29,000 premature deaths in Birmingham every year, the government should be investing this money in tackling the problem, not make it worse. It will also do nothing to tackle congestion in the long term, as experience has shown that increased capacity results in more traffic and fills up the roads again. It is a counter-productive waste of money.”

“The M42 expansion will only benefit High Speed Rail and Birmingham Airport, and do nothing for our local economy and local people living, travelling and working in and around Birmingham. We should also question why we are funding improved transport links for an already over-subsidised airport, when Birmingham’s transport Plan, Birmingham Connected, remains unfunded.”