In a letter to Michael Fabricant MP, Tom Fanning (Managing Director of the
M6Toll) says there will be no discount for local users. He confirmed that
at their last meeting "we discussed amongst many other matters: marathons
before the M6toll opens, perception of the road, regeneration in the area
and, of course, discounts to local users of the road."
Tom Fanning went onto say that the prospect for local discounts was
subsequently considered. He added: "We have discounted the idea of
providing discounts for local users for the very reason that it is too
difficult with the present technology to introduce. One of our problems
relates to what actually is local across and along a road that extends for
over 27 miles. It simply is not feasible…… Our technology continues to
advance and we are looking at various alternatives for the future as you
would expect. We must, however, rule out any prospects of a local discount
scheme at present".
Responding to this, Michael Fabricant says: "This is a disappointing reply
though I note that discounts for local users of the toll road have not been
ruled out altogether. When we met, Tom Fanning accepted that people living
near the toll motorway route have had to put up with considerable noise,
dust, and disruption to their lives during the road’s construction. Still,
rumours that the car toll would be £5 have proved groundless and the initial
toll of £2 – which will subsequently rise to £3 after the first 10 million
vehicles – is not excessive.
"I still believe that there are technological solutions to the discount
issue. I know that similar discount schemes have been achieved on motorways
abroad and where there is a will, there is a way.
"I now challenge Tom Fanning and his company, Midland Expressway Limited,
to find a solution over the next year or so to enable local users to remain
on the £2 toll level when the general toll for cars rises to £3. This will
be a real test of whether MEL have the commitment to the local community
they often talk about."