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Increase to-toll-y ridiculous for M6 hauliers

Expensive, environmentally unfriendly, inconvenient – that’s just some of the predicted effects of the 1 March hikes on the M6 bypass toll in the eyes of the Freight Transport Association (FTA). And probably everyone else in the haulage industry!

Basically the 6.4 per cent increase, which is double the rate of inflation, will render what should be a highly beneficial route for HGV operators expensive at best, and totally unaffordable at worst.

According to the FTA, not only will the increase be bad for businesses and fuel card users, it will drive many hauliers quite literally off the M6 bypass and back onto the M6, infamous for the congestion which prompted the M6 toll road to be built in the first place.

The bypass is currently “chronically under-used”, according to the FTA, despite costing £700 million to build.

Further overcrowding on the M6 will have obvious knock-on environmental effects thanks to idling and tailbacks. Idling also wastes fuel, driving up costs.

Stephen Kelly, FTA’s Head of Policy for the Midlands, said: “Extra toll costs are the last thing the commercial vehicle sector needs, but by effectively closing the gate to this vital corridor for so many hauliers we are in danger of not realising the economic and environmental benefits that this road was built for in the first place.”

So a big step backwards then, in other words.  Midland Expressway, which is imposing the rise to pay for general highway improvements, be warned – you may do more harm than good.

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