Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Toll Roads

The M6 toll road has been in the news recently. It has been criticised because it seems that toll roads don't solve congestion. It was opened nearly seven years ago and I have travelled on it a couple of times. Generally I stick to the M6 and there has only been one occasion when I regretted my choice of route. However I don't usually drive at rush hour and I can understand that many regular drivers would prefer to avoid the jams.

There have been many times when I have been told that there was congestion on the M6 and the toll road was clear. Mostly I have been told that the toll was clear regardless of congestion on the M6. It seemed to me like a big advert for the toll company, but in spite of these adverts they are still making a loss. There are suggestions that the government may be looking for more private initiatives but I don't think that there will be a great rush to join this initiative.

As for the answer to M6 congestion, drivers do have the opportunity of missing the jam and joining the toll road. So do toll roads solve congestion. The answer has to be yes.

Change the world


  1. Don't encourage 'em! I use it every time I head from home in Oxford to my mother's on the Wirral, and that's always at a weekend or public holiday, so it is nearly completely empty, and it wouldn't matter how free flowing the main M6 was, there'd still be more numpties in the middle lane!

    Of course it's not really a "fair match" is it - I favour complete road privatisation, then we would see how different market charging regimes on alternate routes would affect use, congestion and even the working day!

  2. "So do toll roads solve congestion. The answer has to be yes."

    Michael - wake up!!!!!!

    If drivers are using the non-toll M6 in preference to paying the toll charge then the toll road IS NOT SOLVING THE CONGESTION PROBLEM!!!!!!

  3. I have only used it once, coming back from Eastbourne several years back now. The traffic looked to be slowing, so I decided to go via the toll road, am glad I did, as I went over the motorway I was on, the traffic was stationary, and listening to travel reports on the radio, the congestion went on for several miles.

  4. Thanks for all your comments. I take your point Jock about complete privatisation and I may write a blog about this in the near future. As for clear roads this is my limited personal experience. I haven't been told of any congestion on the toll road but perhaps you know differently Anonymous. Could you refrain from multiple exclamation marks, the use of upper case and the request to wake up. I get the impression that you are the same Anonymous whose comments I rejected previously. I don't write this blog in order to receive anonymous insults. Thanks Sea for your comment in support of the solving of congestion. It seems so obvious that you travel on the toll road and there is no congestion. Anonymous may get the point eventually.

  5. What an illogical conclusion you have reached Mike.
    If the billions ploughed into road construction had been invested in a dramatic improvement in public transport facilities everyone would benefit.
    We need more radical solutions, not shall we/shall we not build toll roads.

  6. I agree with radical solutions ggd, but the simple conclusion is that people who pay for the toll will avoid congestion. There is a much bigger problem but I had this image of a rich man whose route is from one end of the toll road to the other. He is in his sports car and is being asked if the toll road helps him avoid congestion. For him the answer is obvious.