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M6 Toll

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M6 Toll
Location Map ( geo)
Cameraicon.png View gallery (80)
From:  Coleshill, Warwickshire (SP214867)
To:  Shareshill, Staffordshire (SJ952076)
Distance:  27 miles (43.5 km)
Meets:  M6, A5, A34, A38, A460
Former Number(s):  A446(M)
Primary Destinations
Highway Authorities

Midland Expressway

Traditional Counties

Staffordshire • Warwickshire

Route outline (key)
M6 Toll Coleshill – Cannock
M6 Toll Cannock – Knutsford
Junction List
Junc Northbound Southbound
M6 J3A Start of Road M6
T1 M42, A446, A4097 M42
T2 No Exit A446, A4091
T3 A38 A38
Toll Southbound Only
T4 A5, A38 A5, A38
T5 No Exit A5148
T6 B5011 B5011
Services symbol.gif Norton Canes services
Toll Northbound Only
T7 A5, A34 No Exit
T8 A460, A4601 No Exit
M6 J11A M6 Start of Road
M6 J14A M6 M6
M6 J15 M6, A500, A519 M6, A519
M6 J15A No Exit M6
M6 J16A M6 No Exit
M6 J19 M6, A556 Start of Road
For detailed information about this topic, see Motorway Database

The M6 Toll is a bypass for the M6 through the Birmingham and Wolverhampton areas. Instead of passing through the West Midlands conurbation, it runs to the north in existing road corridors alongside the A446, A38 and A5, and incorporates part of the M42. It was originally allocated the number A446(M), though due to its non-standard number, the number M600 is used for administrative purposes.

An extension to the route of the M6 Toll between Wolverhampton and Knutsford through Staffordshire and Cheshire has been proposed as an alternative to widening the M6.

A link to the M54 was proposed but the final section to link the M6 to the M6Toll was dropped.

Main Article: M54 to M6 Link


The M6 Toll was opened after 3 years of construction and was opened in December 2003 and was predicted to carry around 74,000 vehicles but has declined and grown over the years and during 2015 it hit around 54,000 vehicles after 10 years of declining.

In 2016 it was put up for sale for nearly £2bn last year after a consortium of 27 banks effectively took ownership from Midlands Expressway Ltd and in 2017 it was bought by IFM - owners of Manchester Airports Group, Anglian Water and Arqiva.

One rejected proposal for the road, dubbed 'Midlands Parkway', took a similar route but with much more elaborate interchanges. This included a complicated crossover arrangement at Langley Mill, free-flow slips at Weeford and collector-distributor roads at Laney Green. This was rejected in the 1980s.


As the UK's first tolled motorway (as opposed to what were then existing tolls on the M4, M48, M90 and M898, which were for major bridge crossings), the M6 Toll was considered to require special treatment so its status and purpose were obvious to motorists.

While it was in planning, and for a time during the construction process, it was attached to the temporary number A446(M), which appeared in official documentation and press reporting but was never used on signage. There was discussion in Government prior to its opening about what its permanent number should be, and seemingly a consensus emerged that it should not have an ordinary M-number because it was necessary to differentiate it from other motorways.

Among the options considered were:

  • M6, which would necessitate giving the existing M6 between J3A and J11A a new number. In this scenario the suggestion was to use the number M42 to create a full ring road around Birmingham, by renumbering sections of M6 and M5. It is not clear what the remaining length of M6 would have become, or what the orphaned length of M42 towards Tamworth would have been called. The cost and complexity of this option ruled it out.
  • T6, where T stood for Toll; it was considered that this might convey to motorists that T6 was a tolled bypass for M6.
  • M600, which fitted within the existing numbering system, but did not fulfil the objective of indicating a tolled road.
  • M6 Toll, which was eventually chosen and applied to the road. This option was selected on the basis that it most clearly conveyed that the road was intended for M6 traffic and carried a toll. Consideration was given to abbreviating the designation to "M6(T)", but this was not done because historically a suffix of "(T)" was used by the Ordnance Survey to mark trunk roads and this would cause ambiguity when the motorway appeared on maps.[1]

At the time of its construction, there were moves within the Government to promote other tolled motorways as a means to improve the road network without major new capital expenditure: consideration was given to a northward extension of the M6 Toll, and for a new bypass of Newport in South Wales to be a tolled motorway. Had this happened there would have been further toll motorways requiring numbers and the M6 Toll would have set an interesting precedent.

The official number M6 Toll was made public in late October 2001.[2]

Extension Plans

There were plans to extend the toll route north alongside the M6 to junction 19 as an alternative to widening the M6, however those plans got scrapped due to opposition. 'The Expressway' would have been D2M and junctions were planned at M6 J11A (with the M6), M6 J14A (with the M6), M16 J15 (massively remodelled junction with the A500), M6 J15A (with the M6), M6 J16A (with the M6) and M6 J19 (with the M6 and the A556 to Manchester). Instead of the extension, the section of the M6 itself was converted to a Smart Motorway.


The route falls into three sections:

1) a toll-free curve between the M6 and M42 east of Chelmsley Wood;

2) a toll-free multiplex with the M42, one of only three multiplexes between two motorways in Great Britain;

3) the main tolled section between the M42 near Curdworth and the M6 near Shareshill.

The M6 Toll is the major or right-hand route at each of its two junctions with the M6 and two with the M42.


There are two main toll plazas (one on the northbound carriageway near Great Wyrley and one on the southbound near Weeford) and several smaller ones on certain entry and exit slip roads. They are located so that every journey using any part of the main northern section of the route passes one and only one toll plaza.



Churchbridge Gyratory.png
Main Article: Churchbridge

Churchbridge is located southeast of Cannock at junction T7 where the motorway interchanges with A5, A34 and A460. It is a variant of a Magic Gyratory junction and only has east-facing sliproads for the M6 Toll.


Norton Canes services

Norton Canes- M6 Toll services - Geograph - 923024.jpg
Main Article: Norton Canes services

Norton Canes services opened with M6 Toll, and is located off its own trumpet junction between the Great Wyrley toll plaza and junction T6. Perhaps surprisingly, given that travellers must pay to use the road to travel more quickly, it is very busy and popular.

Traffic Data


link 2004 AADF 2005 AADF 2006 AADF 2007 AADF 2008 AADF 2009 AADF 2010 AADF 2011 AADF 2012 AADF 2013 AADF 2014 AADF
M6-M42 39563 26627 26762 27059 28193 27765 27350 27799 15927 16337
T1-T2 39563 41469 41592 46842 45881 45412 44696 29936 29502 29967
T2-T3 39563 40141 40347 40824 41943 41532 40881 41623 24692 25184 25704
T3-T4 17470 42488 43802 42749 38172 37663 36405 36171 45293 45519 47024
T4-T5 17470 42641 42031 44794 36922 36418 35202 34969 32030 32223 33331
T5-T6 17470 42413 43931 48847 43292 42695 41252 40955 36347 36530 37738
T6-T7 17470 42534 42472 46462 40034 39462 38125 37852 33978 34196 35356
T7-T8 17470 39132 43221 36441 39573 39019 37682 37409 29617 29785 30792
T8-M6 17470 35695 37026 37184 32871 32422 31335 31120 33645 33823 34962

Opening Dates

For detailed information about this section, see Motorway Database: M6 Toll Timeline



Pathetic Motorways

Roads UK

Midland Expressway

BBC News

M6 Toll
Related Pictures
View gallery (80)
Norton Canes Services, M6 Toll - Geograph - 1027677.jpgM6 Toll J3 - Coppermine - 20727.jpgM6 Toll northbound near M6 and M42(N) junction - Coppermine - 7053.jpgBirmingham Northern Relief Road Detailed Plan 1987 Part 5 of 10 - Coppermine - 14283.jpgNorton Canes Services original proposal.png
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