Page last updated at 08:52 GMT, Tuesday, 9 December 2008

M6 Toll road marks fifth birthday

M6 toll road
The number of people using the M6 Toll has fallen

The M6 Toll road is being used by less than half the number of vehicles it was intended for as it marks its fifth birthday.

The road, which was the UK's first pay-as-you-go motorway when it opened in 2003, was intended to ease congestion on the M6 through the West Midlands.

A public inquiry in 1995 said the road needed 100,000 vehicles a day to justify its existence.

But it only attracted 43,064 on average between July and September.

This was down 12% on the figure for the same period in 2007.

Subsidy call

Midlands Expressway Ltd, which runs the Toll, said the drop was due to the "continuing weakness in the UK economy which has seen a greater decline in discretionary (weekend) travel".

The road cost 2 to use when it opened but now charges 4.50. This is due to rise to 4.70 in 2009.

BBC Midlands Today transport correspondent Peter Plisner said this made it one of the most expensive toll roads in Europe.

Haulier Eddie Stobart has called for use of the toll road to be subsidised to ease congestion on the main M6.

Phil Spittle, the firm's general manager for fleet and compliance, said: "I believe 150m has been invested to try and ease congestion in the west Midlands.

"If a percentage of that, maybe 5% of that, was used to compensate truck users to use the toll then I think they would stop congestion on the M6 for the private user."

Tom Fanning, chief executive of Midlands Expressway Ltd, said: "Traffic levels are seasonable generally by the way of nature and as for October, November, December it tends to fall and from then onwards it goes up again."

Print Sponsor

Chief defends half-full M6 toll
07 Dec 07 |  West Midlands
Agency reviews M6 widening plan
12 Oct 07 |  West Midlands
Thousands wait for M6 Toll payout
13 Sep 07 |  Staffordshire
M6 toll price increase criticised
21 Jan 07 |  Staffordshire
M6 Toll road opens
09 Dec 03 |  Staffordshire

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific