M6_AVON_.jpgThe cost of driving your car along the M6 toll will increase to £5.90 during the daytime, with ramp cost rising to £4.40, according to an announcement by the operator, Midlands Expressway Limited (MEL).

Evening and weekend tolls, along with those for other types of vehicles, such as HGVs, have not been affected.

First price rise in five years

The announcement marks the first price rise the road has seen since 2012, when the charge for cars rose from £5.30 to £5.50. MEL Chief Executive Andy Pearson told reporters that the new price is “a partial catch up with inflation,” but that toll rates are increasing by less than the retail price index over time. Pearson said that pricing structures are approached “with very careful consideration to economic sensitivities and the impact on our customers and their businesses.”

He went on to say that this was why prices had remained static for the past five years.

Rising popularity

When the M6 toll first opened in December 2003, it cost just £2.00 to take your car along the 27-mile expressway. Despite the price rising by almost 200 per cent over the past 15 years, the road has never been more popular.

On the average weekday, more than 53,000 vehicles use the road, which constitutes well over half of all traffic on the M6 corridor. Usage has risen by more than 7.6 per cent since the last price rise in 2012, and during the rush hour, the toll road reduces average journey times by around 30 minutes.

Despite this, the road still attracts heated debate. It is still drawing nothing like the 75,000 users a day that were predicted when it opened, and the Campaign for Better Transport says that it brings "no net benefit for drivers, whilst causing huge and irreversible environmental damage."