Earlier this month while I was still on holiday the family and I drove up to the Wirral to visit my mother for a day.
Normally I avoid the M6 like the plague and instead go Birmingham-Wolverhampton-Whitchurch-Chester. Which was the way I came back.
But, because my daughter's boyfriend had been here for a few days and needed dropping off at New Street station to catch a train back to Southampton, it was logistically easier to go up the motorway.
Gosh it was grim - worse than I had remembered.
Slow, stressful, tiring, lorries everywhere, road works...
So much so that the prospect of congestion charging has to be welcomed.
Something must be done before we hit total gridlock.
The Government is edging towards a national system, but it is a tentative Birmingham which has been seen as a likely model to test it out.
Yet, according to my sources, discussions are progressing slowly.
Some of the issues are basic.
What would come under Birmingham's remit and how do you actually define congestion? So, for example, if you are going to have a congestion charging experiment for the city, do you take in the M6, part of the M6, or what?
Because clearly the motorway is a critical commuter route into the city yet is used by many others heading south to north who have no interest whatsoever in stopping at Birmingham.
And the very worst jams are in the morning and evening rush hours - traffic, though heavy, tends to run after a fashion reasonably steadily inbetween.
So would you impose congestion charges purely during peak periods or throughout the day?
You see, it all sounds so easy in principle, but it is far from simple.
And that is presupposing we can get the technology to work.
If the London example is anything to go by, there are also winners and losers in this too.
In effect London penalised private car users and has been using the money to boost public transport, particularly buses.
And, with the charge only covering central London, it hurt restaurants and shops inside the charging zone.
Birmingham would similarly experience upsides and downsides, and the business community in particularly needs to think that through.
Business would largely benefit, it is suggested, because time is money, but some businesses will undoubtedly be adversely affected.
What then of a national congestion charging scheme?
And where might that lead us?
Think, for example, about the potential civil liberty issues over Big Brother watching you.
If your journeys are going to be constantly plotted so as make the biggest road users pay the most charges, then could the technology be adapted to fine anyone going over the speed limit?
Could some clever divorce lawyer obtain a court injunction to demand your travel information details in order to confirm that your car was parked outside your lover's house for how many hours it might have been on however many days in the month?
We need a very wide debate on all this.
Congestion charging may be no panacea.