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M6 needs government help say RHA

By: Chris Taylor
22 August 2011

Government support is needed to make the M6 toll road profitable again warn the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

Last week, Commercial Motor's revealed that the motorway's owners, Midland Expressway, reported a pre-tax loss of £49 million.

It blamed the government's introduction of a hard-should scheme to relieve congestion, as well as the economic climate, as reasons for the loss in earnings.

The M6 motorway is the UK's longest and one of the most busiest, stretching from Rugby, near Birmingham, to just short of the Scottish borders at Gretna.

It is an invaluable logistical route for those working in driving jobs travelling north and south in the UK; as well as east to west route between the midlands and the east coast ports.

In a report, Jack Semple, RHA policy director, described the toll road as "a really important piece of infrastructure," adding that the government "has to step" in to find a way to make use of it.

"The problem is it can't attract enough traffic and at the same time there's congestion on the other road," he said.

"We don't want to be prescriptive, but at some stage the government has to step in to find a way of making use of the infrastructure."

M6 owners are adamant that its debts are manageable and say that they have no intention of selling the road. As yet there has been no discussions between the government and the M6 toll road owners.

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