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The Manchester United M6? Football teams and firms could soon sponsor motorways

Manchester United could sponsor t he M6 motorway, according to a proposal to generate funds for investment in roads.

Sports teams, supermarkets and tech firms are among the companies who could purchase the naming rights of major roads under a Road Miles concept.

The plan outlines the potential establishment of the Manchester United M6, the Morrisons M1, the Microsoft M4 and the Adidas A1.

It is part of a submission that has been shortlisted for the £250,000 Wolfson economics prize to reduce traffic jams.

The Road Miles proposal was created by AA president Edmund King in a personal capacity and his wife, business analyst Deirdre, to change the way people are charged for driving in the UK.

They believe drivers should be given 3,000 free Road Miles each year and then pay a small fee for driving further distances, in a bid to reduce non-essential journeys.

Car drivers in the first year would pay less than one pence per mile and there would be concessions for those living in the most rural areas and the disabled.

A nationwide lottery and an auction of extra miles would be used to keep the scheme's costs down and fund maintenance such as pothole repairs.

The Kings also suggest a US-style Adopt-a-Highway scheme should be considered for local roads, whereby businesses help pay for litter collections in return for roadside advertising.

Their plan would see fuel duty drop from 58 pence per litre to 47 pence within five years, while more than £3 billion in extra investment for roads could be generated.

Motorists currently pay some of the highest taxes in Europe to use a road network that in some places is congested and deteriorating.

Mr King claimed Road Miles would be "miles better, fairer, greener, safer".

He said: "Drivers fed up with current cones, congestion and chaos will be compensated for delays and have a say in how our roads are run."

His wife said: "Road Miles will bridge the gap between falling fuel duty revenue and the electric vehicle revolution.

"More money will be available for roads, yet the motorist will pay less as extra income from the Road Miles lottery, naming rights and auction will supplement revenues."

Mr King accepted it was "unlikely" that the M6 would be named after Manchester United as the move would prove unpopular with supporters of rival clubs.

The prize, founded by Lord Wolfson, chief executive of clothing giant Next, will be awarded in July.

Lord Wolfson said: " Road congestion is a source of daily misery for millions of people, undermining our quality of life, environment and economy.

"As the political parties put together their programmes for government, they would do well to turn their attention to the plight facing users of Britain's road network.

"The creativity and enthusiasm demonstrated by the entrants to the 2017 prize has been inspiring."

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