M6: Pollution

Department for Transport written question – answered on 9th April 2019.

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Photo of Tom Watson Tom Watson Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he intends to take to reduce pollution levels on the M6 between junction 7, Great Barr and junction 9, Wednesbury; what assessment he has made of the pollution levels on that carriageway in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Jesse Norman Jesse Norman Minister of State (Department for Transport)

Highways England undertook air quality monitoring of that section of the M6 in 2016. All pollution levels close to the motorway were below the legal thresholds. Highways England are therefore not proposing any specific measures there, but are implementing wider measures designed to improve air quality.

More generally, Highways England have been undertaking extensive research into potential air quality solutions for the Strategic Road Network (SRN), and published their air quality strategy in 2017. They have explored a wide range of ideas including different traffic management options and different types of barrier design, and sought to understand the impediments to greater use of electric vans on the network. They are also delivering the commitment in the Road Investment Strategy to ensure that 95% of SRN will have access to a rapid electric charging point every 20 miles by 2020.

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