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Toll roads not the answer to UK congestion

The environmental group, Campaign for Better Transport, has ridiculed the UK's first major toll road which was introduced to try and alleviate the massive congestion problems in and around Birmingham. The 27 mile stretch of the M6 sees motorist charged £5 a day and HGV's attractive a fee of £10 a day for the same length of road between 6 AM and 11 PM on weekdays. So how have traffic figures been since the toll road was opened in 2003?

Traffic figures for the stretch of road in question peaked at 60,000 drivers a day in spring of 2006 although this figure has since fallen to 40,000 drivers a day. However, it is the very fact that the company in charge of the toll road, Midland Expressway, has lost around £26 million a year since the venture opened which is of more concern. This is not the introduction to toll roads which the UK government had expected and indeed in many ways it shows that UK motorists are not willing, or in some cases not able, to pay the extra to avoid traffic jams on the more traditional routes in and around Birmingham.

However, by hook or by crook the UK government seems adamant that UK motorists need to pay more to reduce congestion on UK roads today.

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