As the M6 Toll road celebrates its tenth anniversary, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said that the route it is not a realistic option for day-to-day freight operators to use.
The toll road, which opened in 2003 and cost £900 million to build, charges HGVs £11 to use. The 27-mile route which runs between Cannock and Coleshill was originally hailed as a relief road to reduce congestion in the West Midlands.
Malcolm Bingham, FTA head of Road Network Management Policy said: "Over the past ten years the M6 Toll road has provided an emergency option to by-pass the M6 motorway when it is heavily congested and under stress.
“However, from when it was first opened the toll operator set the level of charges way too high for goods vehicle operators and only becomes viable to use when urgent loads need to be moved through the area."
When it originally opened it was expected that the M6 Toll road would carry 75,000 vehicles per day, freeing up the congested M6, but according to figures provided by Midland Expressway (which operates the M6 Toll) the road was used an average of just 36,000 times a day in 2011-2012 and 43,000 times a day so far in 2013.
Bingham added: "However, with the increased volume of traffic ten years on the M6 Toll road is a useful alternative at peak traffic times, and it is difficult to visualise today what the impact would be to the volume on the road without it."