December 12 2003 The Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) has today called for motorcyclists to be exempt from road tolls on the newly opened M6 Toll Road. The Toll Road has been opened to alleviate regional congestion.

A reduced toll price is available to the first 10 million users of the road and then the price will be increased for all types of vehicle. Motorcyclists, who are subject to the special 'launch rate' will be charged £1.00 from 06.00 to 23.00 hours and 50 pence at night. The toll will then rise to £2 during the day and £1.50 at night compared to car drivers who will be charged£3 and £2 respectively.

Craig Carey-Clinch, Director of Public Affairs said, "Riding a motorcycle helps reduce congestion and pollution, therefore strategies should be implemented to encourage wider use of this form of transport. The M6 Toll Road is the only large scale road toll which insists on charging motorcycles. Other major toll roads, such as the Dartford Crossing and the Severn Bridge, exempt motorcycles in recognition that they contribute to lower pollution and congestion.

"Even London's congestion zone exempts motorcyclists from the charge and there has been a significant increase in the number of people using motorcycles, scooters and mopeds as they recognise they can save time and money on their journeys. The exemption has also led to a decrease in motorcycle casualties.

"Motorcycles make sense in any strategy to cut congestion" said Carey-Clinch. "The operators of the M6 Toll Road should remove these charges now."
The M6 is one of the busiest roads in the UK and around 180,000 vehicles travel on it daily and the sheer volume of traffic means that people travel at an average speed of 17mph at peak times.

The toll road is a 27-mile stretch between junctions four and 11 of the M6 which has been opened to relieve pressure and reduce congestion on the M6.