Some critics have alleged that excessive tolls have caused vehicles to switch to using the cheaper M6, adding to traffic congestion and delays. Removing the toll would likely ease pressure on the M6 around the Black Country and Birmingham, especially as major engineering works are set to be carried out on it over the next few years.
Vehicle use of the M6 toll road has been below initial expectations and the uncertainty over traffic revenues possibly caused by Brexit may have dampened investor appetite.
The toll road is currently owned by 27 lenders, including major banks, who are now allegedly considering refinancing the debts incurred by the asset in order to lower outgoings whilst they seek to sell the road.
The toll road had been for sale for £1.9bn, which would have allowed lenders to fully recoup their debts. However, the new consortium of bidders was unwilling to meet the asking price, raising questions over the viability of the banks’ preferred strategy.
Corin Crane, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, commented: “Almost every business we speak to in the Black Country mentions congestion and movement of goods as one of their key issues. We desperately need to make better use of the M6 Toll Road and public ownership of this road may help avoid the critical delays that will become commonplace once improvements to the M6 and M5 take place in the coming years.”
The Black Country Chamber of Commerce is working on a campaign for 2017 that will explore key issues relating to transport and infrastructure in the region in more detail. It will then take action to support Black Country businesses moving forward.
For more information please visit www.blackcountrychamber.co.uk or contact the Black Country Chamber on 0330 024 0820.