Learn by example

Dear Editor,

There’s been a fascinating debate in the letter pages of the Birmingham Post over the last few months over the M6 Toll road in the UK.

Spokesman John McGoldrick for the National Alliance Against Tolls states:

“When the Toll road first opened in 2003, traffic using it gradually grew but that has fallen off and the average level is now below where it started. The problem is that people are still put off by the idea of paying to use it.

“If there’s an alternative they will take it, even though it might cost them more in fuel consumption because of traffic jams. The M6 Toll doesn’t appear to have been worthwhile because it’s simply not being used enough. In relation to its capacity, it is virtually empty.”

A new transponder payment method has just been introduced whereby it is rented for the sum of £1 per month which then provides a 5% discount on all tolls (compare that with here where the government expects me to buy the transponder for the privilege of then paying tolls).

This toll road is alongside the M6, which remains one of the busiest routes in Europe with more than 200,000 vehicles a day using it and yet motorists still choose not to use it. The latest information shows that it is losing £30 million per year.

Is this government too stupid to learn by example? Maybe they are simply hoping that letting the EN125 get more and more congested and accident prone will mean that some drivers may then decide to switch to the A22 and pay the toll charge.

Incidentally, the charge for cars on the M6 toll has risen 165% since 2004. What’s the betting that is an idea they do implement!?

Paul Howarth, Tunes