M6 takes its toll in Birmingham

The M6 toll road is 5 years old, yet it’s hardly a happy birthday. Since it’s been there I’ve never driven along it and don’t intend to. It’s already costly and it looks as if prices will increase in the new year.
Has it cut congestion in Birmingham, on the existing M6 and surrounding region. The answer is clearly no. Critics from green groups point to more pollution and profits for the company running the route as a business.
What I object to is that the M6 toll is so hard to miss. It masquarades as the main motorway and you have to divert to stay on the M6 itself. Both ways. I have had to swerve when I’ve thought I was keeping to the M6 only to find myself being coraled towards the pay station. I’m wondering if there are any accident statistics here, as there are for cross overs at times of motorway maintenance.


Once again the profit motive compromises everything else: safety, sustainability, freedom from pollution and congestion. Is this still seen as the solution to the transport problems of the region? If it isn’t is it the view we’ve had our chips so don’t expect any great investment in the rail network and means to divert people off the roads.

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