Latest price hikes risk reducing users
Ministers should consider whether now is the time to nationalise the M6 Toll road in the West Midlands.
The road’s operator – Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) – has announced that from Monday 30 July 2018 prices will rise on the 27-mile route between junction 11a on the M6 near Cannock, Staffordshire, through to junction 3a of the M6 at Coleshill, Warwickshire.
The cost for a car journey will go up by between 30p and 50p per journey, depending on the day and time the trip is made. Currently car drives pay £5.90 to use the road between 6am and 11pm Monday to Friday.
Prices for vans will rise by between 10p and 30p, and for HGVs the increase will be between 20p and 50p.
MEL has also said it will introduce a four-month trial to help around 100 local drivers cut their toll bills.
According to MEL the road carries 50,000 vehicles daily with 85% of cars that are on long-distance journeys using the M6 Toll at peak times.
Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“It would be a great pity if this sharp hike in tolls persuaded drivers to stick with the old M6 – commercial traffic is particularly price sensitive.
“Whilst there is precedent for local discount schemes, for example at Dartford, opening the offer only to a maximum of 100 residents seems extraordinarily cautious.
“When conceived the M6 Toll was intended to be a pathfinder beacon for much more similarly toll-funded road capacity, but since that never happened the reality is that the M6 Toll sticks out like a sore thumb.
“Surely the right answer is for it to be properly integrated into the Highways England network, toll free.”
Last June the M6 Toll was sold to IFM Investors, a global investment manager, which at the time already had interests in four other toll roads around the world, as well as Manchester Airports Group.
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
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