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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 13:27 GMT
Decline in M6 Toll road traffic
Cars at toll booths on M6
The road's operators say the dip in traffic was to be expected
The number of vehicles that used the UK's only toll motorway fell last month, the road's operators say.

Midlands Expressway Ltd's (MEL) figures showed a total of about 50,000 fewer vehicles paid to drive on the M6 Toll in October than did the previous month.

The average daily total was 50,242 last month, down from 52,041 in September, and a high of 55,362 in August.

MEL said fewer trips were usually made at this time of year and that more lorries were using the 27-mile route.

Less daylight

Discounted rates for heavy goods vehicles were introduced in August this year in an effort to encourage them on to the road. The reductions are due to be abolished on 31 December.

Managing director Tom Fanning said: "The number of journeys made on Britain's roads traditionally dips at this time of year.

"On the M6 Toll, however, the weekday traffic is only slightly down on the previous month, showing a preference by daily commuters for the reliable journey offered by the road.

"As expected, weekend traffic, which is typically leisure-based, is being impacted by shorter daylight hours and deteriorating weather patterns across the country."

MEL also said that a rise in applications for electronic tags was further evidence of the M6 Toll's continuing success.

The M6 Toll links Junction 4 of the existing M6 at Coleshill, Warwickshire, with Junction 11 near Cannock, Staffordshire.

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