England

M6 Toll bosses announce price increase

Vehicles approach the M6 motorway toll booths on March 13, 2005 in Birmingham, England. Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption About 50,000 vehicles use the M6 Toll every day, Midland Expressway Limited said

The cost of driving on the M6 Toll will increase by up to 50p per journey next month, its operator has announced.

Midland Expressway Limited (MEL) said a new pricing system would be introduced on 12 July.

The costs of weekday journeys between 07:00 and 19:00 will rise by 30p to £6.70 for cars, 50p to £11.80 for vans and 50p to £12 for lorries.

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) said the decision was unlikely to encourage more people to use the road.

Discounts will be introduced for motorists who regularly use the road, with an off-peak price for set times on weekdays also brought in.

The 27-mile road, from Cannock, Staffordshire to Coleshill, Warwickshire, opened in 2003 at a cost of £900m. The MEL said it was used by about 50,000 vehicles every day.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The RAC Foundation said it seemed "unlikely" a new off-peak rate would tempt traffic from the M6

An RHA spokeswoman said: "Any increase in toll charges is unwelcome for the hard-pressed heavy haulage trade struggling with clean air zone charging and tight profit margins.

"Many operators have been put off using the M6 Toll for this very reason."

A new weekday off-peak rate - which is 10p cheaper for bikes, cars, lorries and 20p cheaper for vans - will run between 05:00 and 07:00, and between 19:00 and 23:00.

Currently discounts are only available overnight on weekdays. Lower fares will remain in place between 23:00 and 05:00.

Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, said it seemed "unlikely" the rate would do much to tempt traffic away from the original M6.

He said a "better outcome" for drivers would be integrating the road, toll-free, into the Highways England network.

MEL chief executive Andy Cliffe said: "We remain committed to increasing the volume of HGV traffic using the M6 Toll in preference to the M6 or local roads, and ensure that our incentives for new HGV customers and pricing deals for commercial operators are innovative and attractive."

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