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Toll roads are no answer to congestion, says campaign group

The M6 toll road has been “a costly failure” according to a new report from Campaign for Better Transport (CBT).

The group has produced a report on the toll road, following comments bytransport secretary Philip Hammond that signalled an interest in using tolls to pay for future road building schemes.

The CBT report found that the toll road, opened in December 2003, had not produced congestion relief for the M6. Traffic levels on the motorway in March 2009 were close to the figure recorded in March 2003, before the toll road opened. In two cases, between junctions 3 and 3A and between junctions 12 and 13, there were already greater volumes of weekday traffic recorded.

The report added that the average amount of daily traffic on the M6 toll has been falling since 2006, when there was a peak due to M6 road works.

Responding to the report, the RAC Foundation said that the road had benefited motorists. A spokesman for the foundation, David Bayliss, said that the report had found that journey times on the M6 were more reliable as a result of the toll road. He added that the foundation believed motorists could benefit from road pricing schemes, if the benefits were clear.

Readers' comments (2)

  • John Mather

    The M6 would be rather more crowded (and even less attractive to road users) if it had to carry the 46,000 vehicles per day carried by the toll road.

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  • The CBT report is weak and the headlines generated concentrate only on the possible negatives. Even if we believe that the M6 Toll is a "bad scheme" how can it be then said that all toll roads are "bad"?
    I would suggest that those with a balanced interest read the HA's 5 year study.
    And £ 25m "loss" per year is probably heavily dominated by the long term interest charges for a 100year plus investment.
    Just think what theM6 would be like without the toll road.

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