TRANSPORT MINISTER Stephen Ladyman this week asked the Highways Agency to develop plans for a toll road between Birmingham and Manchester despite massive public objection to the scheme.
Ladyman said that more road capacity was needed along the M6 corridor between the two cities.
But he said it was unclear whether that could best be added by widening or by a new toll road running parallel.
The idea of a toll road, also called an expressway, was fi st proposed last July (NCE 8 July). But a public consultation into the proposals has revealed little support.
Of 9,500 responses received, 9,227 were opposed to the toll road option. Just 106 were in favour.
The original widening option drew far fewer objections, with just 4,263 opposed.
But Ladyman insisted the public was divided on the options.
'Having consulted on the idea of an expressway, it is clear that there is no consensus.
'But the expressway is at this stage only a concept, and more consideration needs to be given to the options before a decision can be made, ' he said