10/2/2005UK: Toll Road Fails to Reduce Congestion
The M6 toll road introduced as a means of reducing congestion has instead increased congestion in the UK.
The UK's first toll road was proposed as a means of reducing traffic on the nation's most congested road, the M6. New figures show that this has not happened. The 27-mile M6 toll road was built parallel to the M6 in the belief that forcing people to pay between £2.50 and £3.50 at each toll plaza would reduce demand for the motorway.
In the Midlands, government figures now shows traffic is at the same level as it was when the toll road opened in 2003, and that traffic to the north and south of the toll road is at record levels.
Despite the results, Alistair Darling, the Secretary of State for Transport, has announced his intention to accelerate his "road pricing" proposal which would turn every UK road into a toll road. Beginning in the West Midlands, Darling believes the plan could be in place within five years.
Chris Crean, from Friends of the Earth, said: "It [the toll road] is a massive traffic generator and has not relieved congestion."Source: Motorway toll increases congestion (The Scotsman (UK), 10/1/2005)
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