M6 Toll

The M6 Toll (previously called the Birmingham North Relief Road, or BNRR) is England's first toll-paying motorway. Designed to alleviate the increasing congestion on the M6 through Birmingham, it connects M6 Junction 4 at the NEC to M6 Junction 11 at Wolverhampton with 27 miles of three-lane motorway. The M6 currently carries 180,000 vehicles per day when it was designed to carry only 72,000. The new M6 Toll road is touted by its operator as saving up to 45 minutes journey time over the old road.

The M6 Toll has only a few junctions with limited access, to discourage local traffic from using the new bypass. Unlike modern toll roads in continental Europe, the M6 Toll uses toll plazas.

A consortium of major contractors Carillion, Alfred McAlpine, Balfour Beatty and AMEC (together known as CAMBBA) began construction in Mid-2002. The road opened for business in the week beginning December 7 2003. Once fully opened, control of the road's operation was transferred to the private sector company Midland Expressway Ltd (MEL). MEL has been granted a 53 year licence to collect tolls on the road, expiring in 2057.

Environmental campaigners have been opposed from its inception to its opening. Whilst the road was being built some advocates of direct action dug tunnels in the path of the round in order to frustrate and delay the work. Most notable of the campaigners was Swampy who went on to be a minor celebrity in the United Kingdom. On the first day of opening of the road less radical opponents voiced their opposition. Friends of the Earth claimed that the road will not relieve much traffic from the West Midlands conurbation as most users using the M6 in that area began or ended their journeys within the conurbation and so the M6 Toll would offer no advantage to them. He said that although the 900m cost of the road had been borne by private companies, the money should have been spent on public transport [1].

Conversely business leaders in Staffordshire, through which the road runs, welcomed the opening of the road, saying that it would make it easier to do business there [1].

As of the road's opening tolls were 1 for motorcycles, £2 for cars, 5 for vans and 10 for lorries, each due to rise by 1 after the first ten million vehicles. A lower price is available during off-peak hours (23:00 - 06:00) as well as at the Langley Mill Toll.

Junctions

The towns, cities and roads listed are those given on road signs on the motorway as the junction is approached.

{| border="2" |+ align="top"|Junctions on the M6 Toll motorway ! No. !! Northbound !! Southbound |----- | Southern end || Join from northbound M42 J7a or M6 J4 || Merge into southbound M42 J7a or M6 J4 |----- | T1 || Entry from A4097 Curdworth || Exit to M42 |----- | T2 || No entry or exit || Exit to A446 and The Belfry |----- | T3 Langley Mill || A38 || A38 |----- | T4 Weeford || A38, A5 || A38, A5 |----- | T5 Wall || Entry only from A5 || Exit only to A38 |----- | T6 Norton Canes || A5 || A5 |----- | T7 Churchbridge || Cannock || Cannock |----- | T8 || Exit to A460, Cannock S || Entry from A460, Cannock S |----- | Northern End || Merge with M6 J11a northbound || Join from M6 J11A southbound. |}

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