Below is a copy of the response from RAG in relation to the article in the Chronicle Paper on the 8th of November which has been sent to them

Dear Sir

Further to the article in Thursday the 8th of November issue, I would make a number of comments.

The Residents Action Group M6 (RAG) was aware of the accident numbers and has also discussed this with our MP Fiona Bruce who was already aware of the numbers.

What readers will not be aware of is that the all-party House of Commons committee produced a document calling for all smart motorways to be halted until further data on the safety of these schemes was available. They recommended that gantry signs and refuge areas should be no more than 500 meters apart, on our stretch they are 2.5km apart 5 times that distance. And can only accommodate a couple of cars or a heavy goods vehicle.

Given the number of breakdowns that are occurring on average more than seven each day and the crashes that average more than one each day it’s no surprise that the delays these cause and the subsequent gridlock of the main roads around the M6 as traffic tries to find alternative routes both north and south.

At one of the early public meetings with highways England I predicted that this scheme will not work on our stretch due in part to the distance between junctions, and that without a hard shoulder emergency services would not be able to get to the scene of an accident, I further predicted that within five years they would return to compulsory buy land to create a new hard shoulder.

When subsequently asked how they expected the services to get through they stated that was not there problem and it would be up to the police etc to devise ways to do this.

Under a FOI request we obtained the data that highways used to establish their base line for noise from the traffic levels ,this amounted to 1500 addresses giving the noise level for each one, all of those were way above the World health authority and the EU directive for the safe health of those residents.

Pollution is another aspect with high levels of particle matter known as M10 and M2.5 and NOx and again they say it’s not their problem .

Highways England gave assurances that they would attend a number of households to obtain real time noise levels ,this they failed to do.

It’s also emerged from the FOI that they blatantly failed to use the correct distance from the motorway of 600meters and only used 300 meters when assessing if households were entitled to mitigation on the noise, they submitted an apology as if that was sufficient.and have not only not rectified this but have also stated they will no longer correspond with not only the residents action group but the parish council also.

What can we deduce from their actions.

  • That they have failed to protect drivers and give them safe areas to deal with breakdowns.
  • They have put more than 3000 resident’s health at risk and that’s a conservative estimate
  • They have shown disregard to the roads and bridges design document that requires them to comply with the legislation over noise and pollution.

This is now something that RAG is looking at with legally minded colleagues ,

If anyone can offer legal expertise it would be most welcome.


Peter wild

Chairman of residents’ action group