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M6 Toll owners Midland Expressway defend price rise

5 February 10 14:43 GMT

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.

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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