A scheme to impose tolls for drivers on a 60-mile section of the M6 have been put forward in a Government-commissioned report.
The news comes four years after ministers shelved a scheme to widen the motorway between Birmingham and Manchester, a process that could cost £650 million.
The new study, drawn up by the Arup consultancy, found that widening the motorway to four lanes in both directions between junctions 11a and 20 for the M56 in Cheshire would ease congestion but has suggested drivers should pay.
However, the report said that tolls should not be imposed until 2021 because of the length of time the project would take and the potential traffic jams it would cause. A Birmingham northern relief road is being built to ease congestion and will levy tolls when it opens in 2004.