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The 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 facts that:

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 delays

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 strategy.”

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 (



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