M6 Toll Road – Reduction of charges?

I have recently taken the “long walk”… from Norton Canes through Brownhills West and eventually arrived in Brownhills High Street. Along my walk I couldn’t help but stop and stare for 5 minutes whilst I was walking across the bridge spanning the M6 Toll Road (Previously known as the Birmingham Northern Relief Road or BNRR).

I was aware of the lack of vehicles using the road from the odd occasion when I have coughed up the hefty price (In the variable region of £4 – £5) and ventured onto the smooth and almost brand spanking new tarmac.

But… when I stood on the bridge and gazed at the open stretch of road, I just could not believe how unused the road was! I am pretty sure I could count on one hand the number of HGV’s / lorries that I witnessed using the road. There were approximately 15 to 20 cars, 5 lorries and 2 coaches that went under the bridge in roughly 2 minutes.

M6 Toll Road - North View - Small amount of vehicles using the road.

I believe that some common sense should be used and allow the road to be used for it’s intended purpose… reduce congestion on the M6 motorway. For a long time now I believe that if the prices were reduced by at least half for all types of vehicles then surely the increase in the volume of traffic using the toll would allow to make up the lost revenue from charging higher prices.

Am I the only person who is thinking this makes sense?

I understand that the management of the toll road must surely have considered this thought and must have concluded that this pricing structure that is currently being implemented is the most profitable.

But the fact remains that the M6 is currently heavily congested on a daily basis and the road that was designed & constructed specifically to provide a solution to this problem is virtually empty… during every day of its existence so far, compared to the M6.

M6 Toll Road - South View - Again... a small amount of vehicles using the road.

Finally… I would just like to make reference to the prices of the road, for car & van owners compared to the original price of £2 for cars and £5 for vans back in December 2003. These prices have more than doubled to £5.30 and £10.60 respectively… whereas the HGV Class 5’s paid £10 in 2003 and still pay £10 in 2012 although with a 60 pence increase. (All these prices are peak time use i.e 06:00 to 23:00)

I understand with inflation all prices rise during a number of years but surely with the current state of the world finances then it would make sense to reduce the cost to use the road and attract more business… thus possibly increasing profits? Maybe I am not in possession of all the facts and figures or in a position to comment professionally but the bottom line is common sense is the key to resolving all issues in life.

Barry.