M6toll Celebrates 10 Millionth Customer

Britain's first privately-funded motorway has reached the milestone figure less than eight months after opening as a free-flowing alternative to the congested M6. The lucky driver won a surprise holiday to Lisbon, complete with hire car and a free journey on the Vasco da Gama toll bridge.

Tom Fanning, managing director of Midland Expressway Limited, said: "We are delighted that 10 million vehicles have been on the M6toll already. It is an achievement worth celebrating.

"More and more people are choosing to use this stress-free route and see its benefits as value for money. In July our average daily figure was 55,308 vehicles and in the same month we recorded a record high of 71,761."

The 10 millionth vehicle was driven by Adrian Wells from Cannock who saves 30 minutes a day by using the M6toll on his way to and from work in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire.

Adrian, aged 53, is a psychiatric nurse manager at Burton's Margaret Stanhope Centre.

He uses the M6toll's electronic tag payment system so he can pass through the toll lanes without having to stop to pay.

Adrian said: "When I received a message on my answer phone from the M6toll I assumed it was something to do with my tag account.

"It was a nice surprise when I found out the real reason and discovered I had won a trip to Lisbon.

"I adore Portugal and have been there four or five times. They could not have chosen a better place."

His prize for two people includes flights, three nights hotel accommodation in Lisbon, car hire and a free trip on the Vasco da Gama toll bridge. Macquarie Infrastructure Group, the joint owner of Midland Expressway Limited, also has a stake in the Vasco da Gama bridge.

Reaching the 10 million mark has triggered the end of the discount rates on the M6toll. From Monday 16 August, tolls will move to the standard rates of £2 for a motorbike, £3 for a car and £6 for a van. The £2 discounted toll will remain for cars exiting via intermediate junctions other than the main toll plazas.

For a trial period, which commenced on 23 July 2004 and ends on 31 December 2004, a discount toll will apply for heavy goods vehicles of £6 (£5.11 + VAT) during the day and £5 (4.26 +VAT) at night.