Local organisations today will have the first chance to look at the latest proposals for a new toll road to run alongside the M6 in Staffordshire.

However, objectors to the M6 Expressway - which is one of three options for increasing capacity on the Birmingham-to-Manchester stretch of the motorway - are angry that

local people whose properties may be blighted by the road have not been invited.

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At the invite-only seminar in Penkridge, the HA is to show stakeholders an "indicative" route for the toll road, which would be directly joined to the existing M6 Toll.

However, it admits the final route could see the dual carriageway on either the east or west side of the M6.

Environmentalists are angry this creates "twice the blight" for local people waiting to see how the proposals affect them.

The other options are two forms of widening the existing road - either by adding an extra lane at either side, which would be the most disruptive option to existing traffic, or by building new carriageways on one side and shifting the central reservation over to create the four lanes in each direction.

Stephen Ladyman, Roads Minister, said: "At this stage no decision has been made.

"But it is important that local stakeholders have the chance to see more information on what the M6 Expressway could look like so the Highways Agency gets more feedback and can deal with any concerns that arise."

He added he hopes to be able to make a final decision in the summer on whether to widen the M6 between junction 11A (Cannock) and junction 19 (Knutsford) or introduce the privately-built and run tolled Expressway.

It is envisaged all three schemes can be opened to traffic by 2017.

Chris Crean, from West Midlands Friends of the Earth, said: "These seminars have a highly selective invitation list but the people who will be most affected by the final plan will not be there."

Gerald Kells, from the Campaign to Protect Rural England, said an initial consultation held by the HA in 2004 where only one per cent of respondents supported widening the M6 should be honoured.

When the Department for Transport published the results last summer, it decided to continue looking into both schemes.

Mr Kells said: "The Government have already had a clear steer from the first consultation where the overwhelming majority did not want the M6 widened and it should listen to that."

A HA statement said: "Comments from these seminars will inform the debate on which concept would best serve the strategic need and could be developed further.

"There will be future and wider opportunities for people to put their views."