M6 TOLL LOSSES
Tuesday, August 2 2011
West Midlands MEP Mike Nattrass says news that the company that runs the M6 Toll has plunged further into the red proves the privately-run route has been a flop.
The UKIP MEP says the £49 million loss, posted by Midland Expressway, clearly demonstrates the M6 Toll continues to be a costly white elephant.
Mr Nattrass, who is a member of the EU’s Transport & Tourism Committee, says the dire financial figures revealed by Midlands Expressway, shows British roads should remain in public ownership.
He said: “Midland Expressway blame the price of fuel and the weak state of the UK economy for the drop in traffic using the Toll. They conveniently fail to mention that toll charges have rocketed since the privately run road opened.
“On March 1 we witnessed yet another hike in toll charges despite the AA warning that any increase in charges could ‘backfire’.
“Well, the increases have backfired on Midland Expressway. They have posted a £49million loss and the latest figures released by Midland Expressway show a fall in average daily traffic on the M6 Toll.
“Motorists are avoiding this route which was originally designed to be a relief road. Drivers are relieved that they can avoid this road and in turn avoid paying the excessive toll charges. Traffic is being pushed onto already congested roads such as the A5.
“This sorry situation could be repeated elsewhere in the country as the EU wants to extend the toll motorway network under its European Electronic Toll Service (EETS) Directive.
“The failure of the M6 Toll shows our roads should be free to use and should remain in public ownership,” he added.