View Full Version : M6 Toll

21st Apr 2012, 18:47
Quick question for those who use the M6 often,

Is it worth using the M6 toll road to avoid birmingham. I will be flying down to LTN at the start of may to pick up a new car and then driving straight back north. Is it worth using the toll road? does it save much time? i will be passing birmingham at about 3pm on a weekday

thank you

21st Apr 2012, 18:51
ANYTHING is worth doing to avoid Birmingham... :}

You don't say where north you are going back to, but shirley you can just hammer up the M1?!

21st Apr 2012, 18:52
Used to use it often (3 years ago). I always like M1 - A50 if you are going N of Stoke. A5 is better now. I am allergic to Toll Roads though.

21st Apr 2012, 19:01
heading all the way back up to inverness. Going up the east coast is a lot slower once you get passed newcastle till edinbrugh. so west coast it is M1- M6- M74 - M73 - M80 - M9- A9

21st Apr 2012, 19:10
Depends what time of day.

If it's rush hour then it's well worth it as the M6/M5 interface is a nightmare.

21st Apr 2012, 19:12
M1-cross at A66 to M6 should be at Scotch Corner after 5:30 and it isn't caravan season in May. Or M1-A69-A68, as it should still be daylight.

Is it a good handling car or a box?

21st Apr 2012, 19:12
Luton, UK to Aberdeen, UK - Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?saddr=Luton&daddr=53.82453,-1.338635+to:aberdeen&hl=en&ll=54.508327,-2.263184&spn=6.509427,14.39209&sll=54.504145,-2.256945&sspn=6.509427,14.39209&geocode=FQ-bFwMdRpf5_ylJLPYYADZ2SDGB1u_tA1P6Mw%3BFRJMNQMd9ZLr_ynRJG8eqU Z5SDHgRfA8vGIQEw%3BFRUJaAMdOgvg_ylJddcfTAWESDFyxPRc2gW76A&mra=prev&t=m&z=6&via=1)

A696 - A68 after Newcastle - better than A1.

or via A66:- Luton, UK to Aberdeen, UK - Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?saddr=Luton&daddr=53.82453,-1.338635+to:54.5061,-2.12002+to:aberdeen&hl=en&sll=54.559323,-1.604004&sspn=6.501317,14.39209&geocode=FQ-bFwMdRpf5_ylJLPYYADZ2SDGB1u_tA1P6Mw%3BFRJMNQMd9ZLr_ynRJG8eqU Z5SDHgRfA8vGIQEw%3BFXSyPwMdrKbf_ylTekRTsjh8SDGQ9jbNnvkMEw%3B FRUJaAMdOgvg_ylJddcfTAWESDFyxPRc2gW76A&mra=dpe&mrsp=2&sz=6&via=1,2&t=m&z=6)

21st Apr 2012, 19:16
:ok:gets my vote

21st Apr 2012, 19:26
I can hammer up the M1, and don't call me Shirley.

Avoid the whole snarl up like the plague. If you hit it just prior to 3pm you may just get away with it. Walsall seems to be the big pinch point.

DX Wombat
21st Apr 2012, 19:29
That estimate of just short of 9 hours (only as far as Aberdeen) does not take into account any breaks for food and drink and recycling of the same. It takes me at least eight hours from Bradford to Nethy Bridge a little SE of Inverness and I do not dawdle on the motorway. It's a journey I have made for several years now. I use the M6 route as, although a little shorter on paper, the East Coast route takes much longer. I don't use the M6 Toll when venturing South as I don't want to pay when there is a perfectly good M'way available free of charge. Your route up the M6 is the better one. Have a look at this AA route (http://www.theaa.com/route-planner/index.jsp#fromNode=18260046357514%7CLuton%20Airport,%20Luton %7CSTREET%7C511948%7C221256%7CtoNode=18260000156294%7CInvern ess,%20Highland%7CSTREET%7C266304%7C845093). AA routes tend to be more realistic in terms of distance and time. it isn't caravan season in MayOh yes it is!

21st Apr 2012, 19:37
Is it a good handling car or a box?

No Idea never driven it, last saw it 2 years ago but it is being given to me for nothing. it is a 7-8 year old mazda 6 ts2

21st Apr 2012, 19:44
it is a 7-8 year old mazda 6 ts2

wouldn't worry too much about the toll. The train route is lovely and scenic:}

21st Apr 2012, 19:54
Be warned that there are now speed cameras on the gantries around Nottingham.

There are warning signs, but it's easy to overlook them I found.

Cheap(er) fuel is available at Castle Street, Luton:- luton - Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=luton&hl=en&ll=51.873507,-0.417563&spn=0.000218,0.00066&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=13.26154,13.754883&hnear=Luton,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=21&layer=c&cbll=51.873507,-0.417563&panoid=4KGcRtZOh-z5uI3f5F23Xw&cbp=12,182.81,,0,0)

luton - Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=luton&hl=en&ll=51.873507,-0.417561&spn=0.000879,0.002642&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=13.26154,13.754883&hnear=Luton,+United+Kingdom&t=h&z=19)

or Tesco A505 Dunstable:- dunstable - Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=dunstable&hl=en&ll=51.890762,-0.483119&spn=0.003489,0.010568&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=13.26154,13.754883&t=h&hnear=Dunstable,+Central+Bedfordshire,+United+Kingdom&z=17)

dunstable - Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=dunstable&hl=en&ll=51.891166,-0.488698&spn=0.003158,0.003358&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=13.26154,13.754883&t=h&hnear=Dunstable,+Central+Bedfordshire,+United+Kingdom&z=17&layer=c&cbll=51.891004,-0.485092&panoid=Ksq9pbljPVh8HX0WxJW9Aw&cbp=12,190.44,,0,0)

Sometimes the fuel is cheap(er) at the filling station just a couple of miles south of Scotch Corner (on A1):-
scotch corner - Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=scotch+corner&hl=en&ll=54.426221,-1.664858&spn=0.025465,0.040083&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=13.26154,20.522461&t=h&hnear=Scotch+Corner,+North+Yorkshire,+United+Kingdom&z=14&layer=c&cbll=54.431278,-1.667672&panoid=B3u_1guEkKjZ1cidwacXRw&cbp=12,319.68,,0,0)

or even the services at Scotch Corner (take exit for A66 but head east over the roundabout):-
scotch corner - Google Maps (http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=scotch+corner&hl=en&ll=54.443356,-1.666832&spn=0.003207,0.00501&sll=53.800651,-4.064941&sspn=13.26154,20.522461&t=h&hnear=Scotch+Corner,+North+Yorkshire,+United+Kingdom&z=17)

Sir George Cayley
21st Apr 2012, 19:56
No Mazdas nearer to home?


DX Wombat
21st Apr 2012, 20:00
Lighting to Measure (Mazda UK bulb ad) - YouTube

21st Apr 2012, 21:25

My Mazda 6 (TS2, same age :ok: ) has taken me many many thousands of miles all over the UK and Europe, and what a delight to take it from LTN to Inverness you have, most gratifying.

Use the M6 toll, avoid the [email protected]!!

p.s. quick tip, head for the 'card only' payment booth, you just insert your card, and it immediately spits it back out and throws up the barrier, no PIN necessary!

west lakes
21st Apr 2012, 21:28
If paying cash any lane will do as they all accept correct change in the basket

21st Apr 2012, 21:38
If you're going back to Inversneck, I would suggest your chosen route is now the quickest, given the M80 fix - and you're dualled till you get north of...Perth (Who was going to dolphinsludge via Aberdeen???)

21st Apr 2012, 21:40
p.s. to other posters, M1 is only quickest to around the Keighley/Skipton areas, anywhere further North and you're better off sticking West cost :ok:

Random point of interest - Edinburgh is further West than Bristol :)

21st Apr 2012, 21:46

The M6 toll is awesome.

Because there are so many tight-wads going back ooop-north and taking the long route round as they refuse to pay the toll, traffic volumes are light to non-existent and the road surface is in a good state. :E

21st Apr 2012, 22:32
Is it worth using the M6 toll road to avoid birmingham.

If you have to route around the top of Brum then a resounding "Yes, yes, yes"....

21st Apr 2012, 22:57
Used it once, when it was relatively new and cheap, just out of curiosity.
The signs on the southbound M6 are always amusing. The West Midlands could have been hit by pestilence, a plague if locusts, or a meteorite the size of Rutland, BUT, the message boards would still say... "M6 TOLL CLEAR". :E

air pig
21st Apr 2012, 23:44
90 to 110 , no problem! Ooooops naughty.

21st Apr 2012, 23:48
So, is the M6 Toll 'unrestricted'?

(or at least unenforced?)

midnight retired
22nd Apr 2012, 00:49
I routed North via the M6 Toll last Monday at about 2pm and came off at the Services for a pitstop , as I came over the bridge I spotted 4 casually dressed persons lounging on the railings who looked like contractors but on closer inspection were Motorway Police with handheld speedguns that they nonchalently pointed down onto the motorway at any speeding vehicle.

30 minutes later I continued my journey and they were having a field day,during the course of the next halfmile or so I counted 4 Q cars that had pulled over motorist with a further 3 marked police cars lying in wait for more unsuspecting motorist a little further on.

So paying the exorbitant toll of 5.50 and then a speeding fine plus points could definitely spoil your day.

22nd Apr 2012, 01:15
There is a regular camera van that parks on the bridges over the A74M around the Ecclefechan / Moffat (http://www.scottishsafetycameras.com/CamFinderMap.aspx?RegionId=4) area overlooking downhill sections where the tendency is for cars to 'overspeed' due to the gradient. There is no way that motorists can spot the plain van before they have been 'scoped'.

It seems that there may be more further north on M74:- Scottish Safety Cameras (http://www.scottishsafetycameras.com/CamFinderMap.aspx?RegionId=1)

Krystal n chips
22nd Apr 2012, 06:26
The key to your trip is timing.

There is no need to use the over priced rip off aka M6 Toll during the day as the M6 through B'ham now has active speed control on the overhead gantry's.....and.. it works.

If you do use the M6 however, try and ensure you are in the second / third lane at the M5 junction. Also, remember that once past B'ham, you then have to contend with the stretch from Knutsford to Lancaster ( North ) which is invariably pot luck as to trafffic volumes.

If you choose the M1 /A1 route, go to Newcastle, then take the A69 to Carliisle...this is dual until Hexham and then single track until Carlisle....the A66 to Penriih is the preferred route of "Big Dazza" and frankly, it's not a nice road to be on.

As for the rip off Toll,well yes, it is empty in comparison ansd is useful if the M6 is closed....but....other than that, not worth it.

The rip off ?....well, if, for example, you drive off peak at the weeknd to say the A38 ( joining at Jnct 11 A) you pay a lower rate....come back on exactly the same route....and you pay...1 more !!....when I queried the reason, the robot in the cabin helpfully :rolleyes: explained that is was because this was the main toll booth...plus "it's our policy...( long afterthought )....sir".

The obsession with speed camera's is quite astounding really....given the current cost of fuel, if you drive with the boot down, then clearly you have money to burn...:ugh:....and frankly, how much time will you actually save ?

The above advice, helpfully offered by somebody who has done these journeys frequently in the past....and if you do take the M6, you have to stop at Tebay Services going North......:ok:

DX Wombat
22nd Apr 2012, 08:58
Krystal - you are right about stopping at Tebay. Good food and a good farm shop - not cheap but not rip-off prices either. Food in the cafe is produced locally and is a welcome change from the chips-with-everything menu of other places. If you want something a little different continue to J40, head West on the A66 to the first roundabout, turn left, then follow the signs into Rheged. They do the best, proper, homemade chips and a good beefburger as well as other good food. It's run by the same people as Tebay so again the food is produced locally.

Krystal n chips
22nd Apr 2012, 10:08
Ah but, DX, being a lady have you also turned off the M6 just after Tebay at Shap....heading for the A6 and...the chocolate factory?......;) :)

Well done Basil....one less for us to contend with then....:E

DX Wombat
22nd Apr 2012, 10:10
No, I didn't know it was there. :{ :{ :{
Where is it? Where is it? Tell me! Tell me! Please.
I always use the oik free M6 TollNo longer oik free apparently. :(

22nd Apr 2012, 10:13
It's worth the money. I had a course down at Whittlebury Hall recently and used the toll. M6 was at a standstill and the toll road was empty! So stress free.

22nd Apr 2012, 10:19
So, is the M6 Toll 'unrestricted'?

I think you know the answer to that.....

RTRA sections 81,86,89 & schedule 6

22nd Apr 2012, 10:21
The main problem with the M6 toll is it leads to the north where it's grim & wet and also the 1950's.

22nd Apr 2012, 10:23

Be warned that there are now speed cameras on the gantries around Nottingham.

There are warning signs, but it's easy to overlook them I found.

Did you get nicked by them? I use the stretch daily, and so far as I can see they haven't been armed since day 1, over a year ago now.

22nd Apr 2012, 10:25
I've used it on trips to Liverpool and Stoke on Trent, definitely worthwhile, it's usually free flowing, if not almost completely clear. Once when I wasn't in a hurry I took the normal M6 on the southbound leg and wished I hadn't.

The other routing which seems to work well for that part of the country (as I usually start from the west side of London,) is the M40 /M42 to Bromsgrove then track west towards Kidderminster and Shrewsbury, nice drive but can take longer.

Windy Militant
22nd Apr 2012, 10:49
The M6 toll is awesome.

Because there are so many tight-wads going back ooop-north and taking the long route round as they refuse to pay the toll,

The M6 toll whilst being Ideal for those heading to points North from the M40, is a complete waste of time for those heading North from the South West or Wales or those heading into the City.

Heading South you end up stuck on the M42 so you might as well not bother with it.

The M6 toll was built to give the road industry pay back for the support given to the Tories in the last hurrah of road building in the 80s. It doesn't really solve any of the problems that plague the Wedensbury triangle but it was an easy option to build. Joining the Toll road to the existing network also caused a lot of traffic chaos, some cynics said it was done deliberately to encourage use of it when it opened.

I use it frequently now but the company pays. I have to use company vehicles for insurance purposes these days rather than my own vehicle so am obliged to return via the M40 A34 back to base rather than heading straight home down the M5, which used to cut off two hours of travelling for me, if as mentioned I was past the M6/M5 interchange before 15:00 especially on a Friday.

Tebay is also well worth the visit and the Westmorland Hotel is really nice if you can catch one of their offers, Its good value but a bit pricey otherwise.

Krystal n chips
22nd Apr 2012, 12:35
Just for you DX.....:)

Handmade Chocolate Gifts to Buy Online from Kennedys Fine Chocolates (http://www.kennedyschocolates.co.uk/)

As for Tableviews suggestion..forget it unless you enjoy traffic lights in Kidderminster, have all the time in the world and more hold ups in Shrewsbury.....but you can take the M54 / A41 /A49 to Liverpool either via Chester / Birkenhead or via Runcorn.

Having driven across the area extensively, I feel I can advise with experience.

As for the Toll, well as I say, with the active trafficc management system in place on the M6 ( other than in the really solid rush hour period ) it does actually work quite well..although Big Dazza seems to get confused as to what "50" illuminated in red means....hence why pay for saving relatively little in time.....and no, it is not unresricted as many have found out.

DX Wombat
22nd Apr 2012, 12:40
Thank you. :) I shall have a look next time I'm up that way. :ok:

22nd Apr 2012, 12:42
As for Tableviews suggestion..forget it unless you enjoy traffic lights in Kidderminster, have all the time in the world and more hold ups in Shrewsbury.

Fair comment, but I sometimes stop in Kidderminster as have friends there, the other route which I've used is from the M42 north up the M5, off at J4, round Stourbridge, and towards Telford.

Mr Optimistic
22nd Apr 2012, 13:12
'The main problem with the M6 toll is it leads to the north where it's grim & wet and also the 1950's.'

Had to laugh despite my upbringing. Probably also still have half day closing and shops which close for lunch (including the flaming Post Office would you believe).I always use the M6 toll on my excursions to the Maritime Provinces and IOM. Wouldn't dream of doing less than 85 as that is the whole point of it.

22nd Apr 2012, 18:01
Assuming you plan to join the M1 at Junction 10 (Luton), be prepared for a relatively slow start to your journey. The first 18 miles is often very congested due to roadwords, contra-flow, and 50mph average speed cameras!

22nd Apr 2012, 18:40
Speed cameras present no problems if you have cruise-control.
1. Set the speed-bug to 60mph.
2. Sit in the middle lane.
3. Chill-out and listen to Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine and 'The Big Show'! :ok:

Oh, and when you hit the 50 mph limit in the roadworks, it's only a reduction of 10!

22nd Apr 2012, 18:55
2. Sit in the middle lane. As pm, I would execute with relish the morons who think this is acceptable.

DX Wombat
22nd Apr 2012, 19:09
You are elected with immediate effect Sprogget. Need any help? :E

22nd Apr 2012, 19:16
I'm a 4x4 driver Sprogget, - It's our spiritual home.
Have you heard that nice Welsh chap, with his official allotment, on the JV show? :ok:

22nd Apr 2012, 19:43
Another vote for Sprogget, execution is too good for those morons, (and those prats who think that simply indicating when joining a motorway absolves them from looking and giving way to traffic already in the lane they're trying to join.)
It's only a matter of time till we see a repeat of the November 2011 M5 pile-up IMHO.

Must go and get my blood pressure medication.

22nd Apr 2012, 20:48
Never mind executing all middle lane hogs - how the hell can anyone relax listening to Jeremy Vine? His "debates" usually end up with demented, screeching harpies trying to out-scream each other.

P.s. Yes, execute the b**tards anyway. Especially when they begin to brake as they come up behind another vehicle, then instead of actually matching their speed to it and staying in that lane they swerve into lane 3 at 50 mph because they changed their mind about overtaking at the last second. The cause of many a sudden bottleneck or even a nose-to tail shunt.

22nd Apr 2012, 22:54
Doing Society A Favour

Approaching RW16 at Leeming, the F3 radar could track ground targets on the A1. Navs used to amuse themselves with this having heard "on centreline, on glidepath" for the nth time. A glance at the HUD circle would pin-point the speeder or middle lane hog. Was tempted on occasion to pickle off the tanks - might have been a bit of 'collateral' but would have certainly stopped them doing it again.:ok:

I now have a 15 mile drive to town, where two cars coming the other way, total, means it must be rush hour. Zero blood pressure problems!

23rd Apr 2012, 11:13
Agree that it's pretty useless for those south/south west of B/ham. I frequently travel from Near Worcester to the Wirral. More often than not I won't bother with it, because as a previous poster noted the active traffic management around the M5/M6 junction does work, and it keeps moving.

Provided the last couple of junctions of the M5 are clear (a matter of timing) then I will be north of the toll road junction within 20-25mins, it's a damn long way round, and the M42 bit is often slow and or blocked.

I don't use it on the return for the same reasons. I have to say it's quite a while since I've experienced any significant hold up using the M5/6 around Brimingham by timing the journeys reasonably carefully.

23rd Apr 2012, 11:39
does it save much time?

It does at 130mph. Allegedly, of course.

Ancient Observer
23rd Apr 2012, 16:18
I think the toll road is the best invention since they opened the M1 from Stanmore to OOOp North.

Use the Toll Road.

bar fly
23rd Apr 2012, 16:22
It does at 130mph. Allegedly, of course.

Careful, I got pulled by an un-marked beamer doing (slightly) less than that. Somehow the points never came through though thankfully.

I would take the toll. Few quid extra but definately quicker.

Dan Gerous
23rd Apr 2012, 19:24
I made use of the M6 toll a few years ago, when I had to make a few trips for the company way down south. I was amazed at the lack of traffic on it, as I thought it would be moderately busy.

23rd Apr 2012, 19:33
Are we down to 120/80 yet? :E

24th Apr 2012, 11:13
Reading of 153/92 this AM after a run down the M4 to Bristol ( and thats with the medication - Doxazosin 4mg):{

24th Apr 2012, 11:41
I have not used the M6 toll but do travel a lot in the surounding area and so have seen a few interesting changes.

It's noticable that the junctions off the 'real' M6 try to sucker you into using the toll road. The straight on option takes you to the booths so you have to slip off left to continue on the free one.

Between Kingsbury and Lichfield the M6 toll and the A38 run parallel. Before the toll road the A38 was fairly free of obstructions (and traffic). Now it has sprouted traffic-light controlled roundabouts and a 60mph limited section with average speed cameras for enforcement.

And, have you tried to use the RAC route planner? my experience of this has lead me to believe they get a bung for each toll user! If you go anywhere near the toll road they put you on it, unless you specify different of course.


24th Apr 2012, 12:08
There is a regular camera van that parks on the bridges over the A74M around the Ecclefechan / Moffat (http://www.scottishsafetycameras.com/CamFinderMap.aspx?RegionId=4) area The local traffic police live in Lockerbie. Both the north and south entry slip roads there are blind to drivers going up/down the M74. Inspector Knacker loves to sit at the top of these. The camera van (off duty Bill earning a few more) is often to be found in the local villages most of whom should be called Royston Vasey.

As to the journey, I do it most weeks from Luton oop north. Leaving at 2pm I would avoid the M6 like the plague. You will be around the Greater Manchester area as the rush hour is in full swing. M1-M18-A1(M)-A66-M6-M74 and onwards. At Scotch Corner ignore the services and try the take away in the lay-by a few hundred yards up the A66. Top food and it leaves the wallet that bit heavier.

I bought a car once on eBay and it was in Alness just north of Inverness. Over 6 hours to the border control at Gretna. :cool: