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Express & Star comment: Take right road to all being safe

By Star Comment | Opinions | Published:

Its a common occurrence – turning onto the M6 motorway toward Birmingham and hitting the back of a queue stretching across all four lanes.

Queues - a common sight on the M6

And today it appears the congestion motorists suffer on the motorway is not just costing time and money, but also lives.

An average 16 people a year die on the 232-mile road, which goes from Warwickshire up to Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland.

That is more than on the M25 and M1.

It reveals the danger facing drivers and the need for them to take extra care when negotiating the, sometimes, heavily-congested highway.

It’s not just between Wolverhampton and Birmingham where the road always seems to be busy, there are also currently roadworks south of Manchester.

It is why more motorists are choosing to pay to use the M6 Toll, which is owned by investment giant IFM, when they travel from Coleshill to Cheslyn Hay.

That’s despite an increase in toll prices for cars and lorries introduced last August.

Most use it during peak periods and when there is significant congestion on the M6.

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What needs to happen to improve the safety of motorists coming through the West Midlands is to make the toll road even more attractive to use.

The more cars and lorries you remove from the busy stretch of M6 past Wolverhampton, the better.

And those who cannot avoid taking other routes need to take extra care to arrive safe and sound.

Leaving space between the front bumper and the next vehicle and not braking too hard are just two of the ways motorists can make the road safer.

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The other option, of course, is to get the train.

But taking the train at peak hours between Wolverhampton and Birmingham can lead to another set of problems.

Squeezed in a standing-only carriage for 25 minutes is, arguably, a worse alternative to sitting in a car in traffic for an hour.

Let’s get the roads moving freely again, saving time, money and reducing the risk of collisions – and saving the lives of many.

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