9 December 2003

The door to road user charging was opened today when the M6 toll road lifted its barriers for the first time. Drivers wishing to avoid congestion north of Birmingham now have the option of paying £2 to use the new road, which links junctions four and eleven of the M6. Road operators Midland Expressway Ltd claim the new road will cut 45 minutes from journey times, and the 27-mile stretch will be opened in stages across the rest of this week, before full operation begins on Saturday. The industry will be carefully monitoring the scheme, which could pave the way for a pay-as-you-drive road network if deemed a success.

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