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The HGV Training Centre is one of the largest driver-training companies in the UK, operating nearly four dozen HGV driving schools across the country. Our size and extensive industry connections give us insight into the transport and haulage industries and their view of the current regulatory environment. Thus, we are not surprised to hear that the Freight Transport Association is calling for an end to the tolls for HGVs on the M6 Toll motorway.

HGVs currently pay £11 per trip to travel on the motorway between the Coleshill Interchange in the West Midlands and Wolverhampton, some 27 miles away. It is the prohibitive cost that keeps HGVs off the motorway except under special circumstances. Eliminating the toll would encourage more drivers to use the road in order to avoid congestion on the M6 through Birmingham and the Black Country.

The just published West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority Strategic Transport Plan includes encouraging more use of the toll road as a priority. The FTA is in favour of that goal, saying that exempting HGVs from the tolls would both alleviate traffic congestion and improve air quality. They based their assertion on a successful trial run carried out by Midlands Expressway last year. That trial proved that more HGV drivers would elect to use the toll road if they did not have to pay the fee.

Some Will Not Be Happy

It’s not likely the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority will act on the industry’s call to remove tolls for HGVs on the M6 Toll. Nevertheless, if they did, we imagine there would be plenty of people unhappy about it. We would likely see an outcry among passenger car owners who believe HGV operators would have an unfair advantage allowing them to dominate the motorway. Regardless, we support the FTA in recognising this is a good idea.

We agree with the FTA’s Sally Gilson who told Commercial Fleet, “The use of the M6 Toll by HGVs would increase by removing the cost barrier, freeing up much-needed capacity on the M6, and taking HGV journeys away from urban areas.”

Increased use of the toll road would have very substantial benefits to passenger car drivers who continued using the free section of the motorway through Birmingham and points north. With fewer HGVs on that section of road, car drivers would experience fewer tailbacks, less congestion and fewer accidents. It would be in everybody’s best interests to make the change on the toll road as soon as possible.

The HGV Training Centre is proud to serve the haulage and transport industries as a leading operator of PCV and HGV driving schools. We train for all classes of professional licences, preparing students to pass all of their tests the first time these are taken. Our fast-paced and intense training approach helps students retain only the information that is needed, enabling them to complete training and begin looking for work in a matter of weeks.

Sources:

  1. Commercial Fleet – http://www.commercialfleet.org/news/latest-news/2015/08/03/freight-transport-association-calls-for-exemption-from-m6-tolls-for-hgvs-to-cut-congestion

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