Page last updated at 14:43 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

M6 Toll owners Midland Expressway defend price rise

M6 toll road
The road opened in 2003

The company that runs the M6 Toll motorway has defended its decision to increase charges for the sixth time in seven years.

From 1 March, it will cost £5 for a car, a rise of 30p, and £10 for a truck, a 60p rise, to use the UK's first pay-as-you-go motorway.

Midland Expressway said the money would be used to invest in the road's future.

Haulage companies have complained about the costs saying vehicles avoid it and add more congestion to the old M6.

The road cost £2 to use when it opened in 2003 and was designed to take up to 100,000 vehicles.

There are things that we are planning for the future. We are looking to improve our lanes, we're looking to improve our IT
Tom Fanning, Midland Expressway

But figures from Midland Expressway show average daily traffic between October and December last year was 42,921, a drop of 2.3% compared with the same time in 2008.

The road links junction four of the M6 at Coleshill, Warwickshire, with junction 11 near Cannock, Staffordshire.

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

But Tom Fanning, from Midland Expressway, said customers would feel the benefit of the investment from the latest price rise.

"This is a rather large operation," he said.

"There are things that we are planning for the future.

"We are looking to improve our lanes, we're looking to improve our IT."



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SEE ALSO
Residents fight M6 widening plan
19 May 09 |  West Midlands
M6 Toll road marks fifth birthday
09 Dec 08 |  England
Call for M6 Toll to be taken over
13 Jul 08 |  England
Chief defends half-full M6 toll
07 Dec 07 |  West Midlands
M6 toll price increase criticised
21 Jan 07 |  Staffordshire
M6 Toll road opens
09 Dec 03 |  Staffordshire

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