§ Chris Grayling
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) what the total projected cost was of the Birmingham North Relief Road agreed between his Department and the consortium that is responsible for it; 
(2) what estimate his Department has made of changes to road usage that will arise from the opening of the Birmingham North Relief Road; 768W
(3) what estimates have been made of the total annual revenue from the Birmingham North Relief Road. 
§ Mr. Jamieson
I have been asked to reply.
I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.
Letter from G. Rainbow to Mr. Chris Grayling, dated 10 June 2002:The Transport Minister, David Jamieson, has asked Tim Matthews to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the projected cost of the Birmingham Northern Relief Road (now known as the M6 Toll Road), the changes to road usage that will arise from the opening of the road and estimates of total annual revenue from it. I am replying in Tim's absence on official business.Under the Concession Agreement between the Department and the consortium building the road, Midland Expressway Ltd. (MEL), the cost of constructing the M6 toll falls to MEL as the concessionaire, MEL has awarded a Design and Construct contract for the project to the CAMBBA Construction Group at a cost of £485.5m. MEL will also bear additional costs to cover scheme preparation, land acquisition and financing. The total costs are a commercial issue for MEL and no total projected cost has been agreed with either the Department or the Highways Agency.Estimates of changes to road usage because of the M6 Toll were presented in evidence at the Public Inquiry for the scheme. Briefly, it is expected that much of the long distance traffic presently travelling through the West Midlands on the very congested M6 motorway will transfer to M6 Toll. That transfer will allow released capacity on the M6 to be used by traffic currently using congested trunk and local roads within the M6 corridor, thus relieving their overall traffic burden. Traffic flows are expected to increase on some routes which provide access to the new motorway; for example, some sections of the A453 and A5127.Estimates of the total annual revenue from the M6 Toll are a commercial matter for MEL as Concessionaire and no details are available.If you require any further information, Richard Willson, the Highways Agency's Project Manager for the M6 Toll scheme, would be pleased to help. He can be contacted at the Agency's offices at Broadway, Broad Street, Birmingham, B5 1BL, or by telephone on 0121 678 8267.