Letter: Birmingham road

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The Independent Culture
Birmingham road

Sir: Tom Smith, managing director of Midland Expressway Ltd (MEL), claims the Birmingham Northern Relief Road (BNRR) will achieve its primary aim of providing a strategic through route between the North-west and the South-east (letter, 24 June). He does not say that it will only provide that route for the 50 per cent of car drivers and 30 per cent of lorry drivers prepared to pay the toll of pounds 2.50. He does not say that MEL can change the toll rate by however much they like, so that even fewer might use the route.

A primary effect of BNRR is to concentrate traffic going to the North- west on the M6 north of the conurbation, to such an extent that long-distance drivers (as well as local travellers) can expect to find the "West Midlands' severe transport problems" translated on to the M6 in Staffordshire.

The BNRR project is a hugely expensive experiment involving massive destruction over 27 miles of supposedly protected Green Belt. One can understand that Tom Smith is primarily interested in his company making a profit from the motorist, what one finds hard to stomach is that the Government has gone along with a scheme which they said in opposition they would not build.

GERALD KELLS

Friends of the Earth

Walsall, West Midlands

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