news that motorcycles will be charged to use Britain’s newest
motorway, the M6 Toll, is a further indication that government
does not take the motorcycle seriously say the BMF.
The 140,000 strong BMF, Britain’s most influential rider
group, say that even though the M6 Toll road has been built as
a privately funded venture, at the 1995 Public Enquiry the BMF
proposed that the government made it a condition of the operating
licence that motorcycles were exempt from tolls, but this has
plainly not happened.
Without such direction, the BMF recognises that the operator,
Midland Expressways Limited, (MEL), is entitled to recoup its
cost from all users but, say the BMF, this is counterproductive
and runs against the government’s often stated view that
motorcycles are a key part of its transport strategy.
Further, based on the government’s own ‘road track
costs’ figure of 3.5:1, the motorcyclist is already paying
way over the odds for using UK roads so a £2 charge for
using the 27 mile M6 Toll just adds insult to injury say the BMF.
The BMF’s case for road charge exemption is based on the
Motorcycles do not contribute to traffic congestion
Motorcycles cause negligible damage to road surfaces
Motorcycles produce less overall air pollution
Motorcyclists paying at toll booths can in fact cause traffic
Speaking after the toll charges announcement, BMF spokesman Jeff
Stone said: “Never mind road congestion, this is an example
of congested government thinking. Recently we’ve had bikes
exempt from London’s charging scheme and tolls being scrapped
on the Dartford Crossing, but now we’re having fresh tolls
levied! It’s not making much sense and says little for any
A slight hope for the future however came when a spokesman for
MEL said that after next year’s opening of the M6 Toll ,
they will be "reviewing this policy as the need arises."
M6 Toll, the full story (http://www.m6toll.co.uk/pricing/index.asp)