The Government should take over the M6 Toll to stop the owners pushing up prices, according to a Midland politician.
MEP Mike Nattrass urged Ministers to nationalise the M6 Toll, following the announcement that fares are to rise again from March 1.
The 27-mile toll road, which runs from Coleshill, just north of Birmingham Airport, to Cannock in Staffordshire, will become one of the most expensive in Europe after eight price rises in nine years.
From March 1 car drivers will be charged £5.50 to use it during the day, a rise of 20p, while trailers, vans and lorries will have to stump up £11, an extra 40p.
UKIP MEP Mr Nattrass, a member of the EU’s Transport & Tourism Committee, said the Government should take over the road after new figures showing the number of vehicles using it had fallen by more than 10 per cent.
Data produced by the current owners, Midland Expressway Ltd, show that average daily traffic was 34,286 between October and December 2011, compared with 38,405 during the same period in 2010.
He said: “The M6 Toll, which was designed to be a relief road, has been an abject failure. Figures show fewer and fewer vehicles are using this road but despite this trend Midland Expressway Ltd, which posted £49 million losses last summer, will be hitting motorists with increased toll charges from March.
“More and more money is being put into expensive upgrades to the M6 as a consequence of M6 Toll’s failure.”
He added; “It is time for the Government to step in, buy back the road and put it back into public ownership. This costly white elephant should be put out of its misery for the good of motorists and the West Midlands region as a whole.”
Midland Expressway Ltd insisted these figures were not a cause for concern.
A spokesman said: “Overall the low traffic volumes were primarily due to continuing weak economic conditions.”
“Increasing a toll is not a decision we take lightly and we believe the new toll levels remain unbeatable value for money.”