New M6toll appointment to deliver world class tolling system for UK’s best motorway
By: Justine Ryan
1st July 2022
Midland Expressway Ltd, the owner and operator of the M6toll, has appointed Michael Whelan, a globally experienced expert on innovative toll systems as General Manager.
In his new role, Michael will oversee the implementation of the M6toll’s strategic ‘RoadAhead’ transformation programme, to deliver a world-class service to the 18 million drivers and businesses that use the motorway every year.
Michael will lead the roll-out of this programme, which spans a raft of technological initiatives. With the M6toll recently voted the UK’s best motorway in a poll of HGV drivers, commissioned by motorway services operator Roadchef, the plan is to deliver a transformational tolling system that will further enhance the customer experience.
As a senior level executive, with more than 20 years’ experience of delivering successful tolling projects around the world, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role. Most recently, he worked as General Manager for Australian owned Transurban, one of the world’s largest tolling operators. He has been involved in pioneering projects in Australia and the United States and his expertise expands to areas such free flow tolling, express lanes, and high occupancy vehicle schemes.
Upon being appointed General Manager of M6toll, Michael said: “I am looking forward to working with Midland Expressway Ltd during this exciting time, as we work to ensure the M6toll is the most technologically advanced and customer-orientated motorway in the UK.
“I relish the opportunity to again be involved in successfully delivering a world-class tolling system, with tangible benefits for local drivers and long-distance customers, the West Midland region, and the wider national strategic road network.”
Planning for ‘RoadAhead’ has been ongoing for over 12 months and Michael will complete the implementation of the Road Ahead programme initiated by Andy Cliffe, Michael’s predecessor.
The rollout of the ‘RoadAhead’ programme is now moving through the gears, with Midland Expressway Ltd investing across the business in transformational digital systems, that will enhance the customer experience and deliver further time efficiencies for journeys.
For instance, the roadside Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras provide the capability to capture licence plate data and facilitate contactless and cashless payments. Currently available for account customers, the M6toll is working to make the service available to all road-users in the future.
An initial trial with HGV operators and local car drivers has proved to be successful, with all journeys and transactions managed via the M6toll website – whether for a single vehicle or a large fleet spread across multiple depots.
Further plans for the tolling system include expanding the current 16 ANPR enabled lanes to a full deployment across all 45 lanes, upgrading point of sale technology, and developing an enhanced control room facility to increase the information available to the remote operations team.
A new e-commerce and customer management solution will also be implemented, to ensure smooth and efficient operations and improved customer service for the 50,000 drivers who use the road each day.
Michael concludes: “At the M6toll, we are committed to creating more viable transportation alternatives and frictionless journeys for our customers as we continue to be the most reliable route through the Midlands.”
Midland Expressway is owned by the IFM Global Infrastructure Fund (“GIF”), a fund advised by IFM Investors, renowned as a company that believes in bold, long-term and sustainable investment commitments and strategies aimed at creating and delivering positive benefits in people’s lives. GIF is in the process of integrating M6toll into the increasingly global portfolio of Aleatica, a pure infrastructure operator with an international footprint that spans 16 toll roads across Latin America and Europe.