FTA: Make M6 toll free to cut congestion

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The Freight Transport Association (FTA) believes the present fees structure for use of the M6 toll road is prohibitive to encouraging more haulage providers from making use of the carriageway.

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The Freight Transport Association (FTA) believes the present fees structure for use of the M6 toll road is prohibitive to encouraging more haulage providers from making use of the carriageway.

Announced in response to the publication of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority Strategic Transport Plan (http://www.wmita.org.uk/strategy-and-publications.aspx), the FTA stated that a removal of the £11 charge for all heavy goods vehicles travelling on this section of the Midlands transport network could lead to a considerable reduction in congestion levels across other important trunk routes across the region.

FTA Midlands policy manager Sally Gilson commented: "The way to encourage wider use of the M6 toll would be to make the essential movements of freight vehicles free at the point of use. This would help ease congestion on the M6 and give a more reliable journey time for freight."

She added that this approach would also have the joint benefit of improving air quality for local communities, as more freight operators would ensure their vehicles make use of the tolled sections of road that are further from built up areas.

A recent toll-free trial carried out by Midlands Expressway in July 2013 highlighted the impact of reduced charges on the number heavy goods vehicles making use of tolled sections of the local transport network, as the month-long scheme saw a significant upturn in M6 toll usage.

This had the knock-on effect of freeing up considerable capacity on the M6 and taking a large proportion of freight journeys away from urban areas.

Steve Clarke, group marketing manager at Bunkercard, believes that it is unlikely that the M6 will ever become a toll-free road, and instead believes an increased use of fuel cards with M6 toll paying capabilities would be a far more realistic solution to easing congestion, reducing administration for fleet operators:

“Fuel cards that offer M6 toll-paying service have a number of benefits for customers. They provide quick and easy payment that gets invoiced in the standard VAT approved format, making fleet manager’s lives easier and saves the need for drivers to keep receipts. By encouraging more hauliers to utilise these services, congestion will soon subside on the M6.”

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Steve Clarke
@Bunkercard
since: 07/2009
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