TRUCK OPERATORS this week applauded M6 Toll operator Midland Expressway's decision to slash charges for lorries using the road.
Hauliers have largely ignored the M6 Toll since its opening in December last year, arguing that at £10 it does not offer value for money. Cars and light goods vehicles pay just £2.
'Haulage and logistics are low-margin operations. Operating costs for a typical truck are around £35 an hour and for £10 you'd need to see a 20 minute reduction in journey time, ' said Freight Transport Association (FTA) external affairs director Geoff Dossetter.
Highways Agency figures show the average time saving on a midweek day to be just 12 minutes.
The figures confirm the stated reluctance of truck operators to shift to the new road. While total traffic levels have fallen by 10% on the original M6, lorry numbers are up 3%.
To encourage more heavy goods vehicles, Midland Expressway has introduced a 'discounted' rate for trucks of £6, falling to £5 at night. The discount will apply until the end of the year.
The FTA said it was 'delighted' with the move.
'Cutting the rate to a level that is realistic is a big step forward, added Dossetter.