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PFI in action - No.1: The 'M6 Toll' road

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Vegetable Man

Joined: 14 Jan 2004
Posts: 145
Location: In yellow shoes...

Post Post subject: PFI in action - No.1: The 'M6 Toll' road Reply with quote

Another roaring success for private finance:

"Gridlock on M6 Toll

Jan 19 2004

By Ben Hurst, (Birmingham) Evening Mail


Britain's first pay-as-you-go motorway was reduced to grid-lock today as fuming motorists sat in two mile long traffic jams...while the normally clogged M6 ran smoothly.

Two sets of roadworks led to long southbound tailbacks between Shenstone and the A38 on the M6 Toll.

It is the first jam to hit the toll road which has been open for just over a month, and led to calls for motorists to be given refunds.

One driver told the Evening Mail: “There’s a massive queue of red tail lights going back for a long way.

“People have paid to use the road and I should think they’ll want a refund. You don’t want to sit in a traffic jam if you’ve paid good money.”

Russell Eden, from the Association of British Drivers said: “If Midland Expressway Ltd is advertising the M6 Toll as a traffic jam free driving experience then people should be given their money back.” A spokeswoman for AA Roadwatch revealed toll road bosses hadn’t both-ered to inform them of the trouble.

The queue, which began forming during the morning rush hour, was stretching back for more than two miles by 9.30am today from Langley Mill.

Two sets of roadworks are currently in place on the £900 million brand new motorway.

The latest is to deal with massive pools of water forming on the surface near Langley Mill and involves closing two lanes.

At least five car accidents are known to have been caused by the problem and police told Midland Expressway Ltd that urgent action was needed.

A spokeswoman for the Highways Agency said: “Having noticed motorists having difficulty in the conditions MEL liaised with the police and, following their advice, a temporary speed restriction was imposed. MEL also placed warning signs along the route.”

But no one from MEL was today available to comment on the jams.

The work was set to take six days.

Two lanes of the southbound carriageway on a 100 metre section near Sutton Coldfield were closed on January 10 because of “unevenness” in the surface. It is expected that work will be completed tomorrow .

Midland Expressway Ltd were unable to give a comment, in spite of repeated phone calls.".

Mon Jan 19, 2004 7:39 pm
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