Birmingham's transport chief has called on the owner of the M6 Toll road to open it up and help ease the traffic misery on the city's streets.
Councillor Tahir Ali said he would lobby Midland Expressway Ltd (MEL) to allow freight vehicles to use the toll road free until August while work on Spaghetti Junction and other parts of the M6 were ongoing.
Such a move would take up to 10,000 HGVs a day off the M6, opening up space for an extra 30,000 cars. Currently about 2,000 lorries use it.
Coun Ali (Lab Nechells) said it was "nonsensical" there was free space on the toll road while Birmingham remained gridlocked.
He said: "If the Government through the Highways Agency has taken the decision to close slip roads and carry out this work then they should ask MEL for their help.
"It is nonsensical we have this road asset underused while there are major delays on the rest of the region's roads."
He was replying to a question from Coun Victoria Quinn, the chairman of the coucil's transport watchdog committee.
She said nationalising the M6 Toll had been a priority for local people but in the short term the road should be used to help ease the congestion while welcoming the investment in transport signified by the works.
She said there was a clear business case for MEL as a summer free trial for lorries in 2013 had led to a higher use of the toll road after.