SOLIHULL MP Julian Knight’s call for the M6 Toll motorway to be opened to normal traffic during emergencies has been echoed by West Midlands Mayor Andy Street.
Mr Street has said that the road, which is Britain’s only pay-as-you-go motorway, ‘does not contribute as much to the region as it could’.
He has recommended that it should be used to alleviate congestion during crises – and that control of that decision should be passed to a local figure – such as himself.
His comments add weight to the argument put forward by Conservative MP Mr Knight following a serious incident in February 2016 which cost the West Midlands economy an estimated £40 million.
Mr Knight arranged an urgent meeting with ministers and a special Westminster debate to push for reform and make ‘the rich person’s motorway’ work for everybody.
Commenting on the plan and Andy Street’s support, Julian said: “I’m very pleased that Andy Street shares my conviction that the M6 Toll needs to work better for everybody in the West Midlands, and I look forward to working with him to make our message heard by both the new owners and the Government.
“On top of the obvious economic damage caused by gridlock, there are environmental and social costs too: more pollution, longer journeys, missed connections, and more pollution.
“It’s wrong that a motorway built as the ‘Birmingham Relief Road’ can stand empty when we need it most.
“This Government believes that more power should be in the hands of accountable local figures – that’s why it created the mayoralty and Combined Authority.
“It’s time to walk the walk and place responsibility for opening the M6 Toll in Andy’s capable hands.”