Each day can only be used with the license plate and has a single account. All M6 toll accounts are paid in advance and must contain a positive balance sufficient to cover the cost of the vehicle toll so that the vehicle can be registered through the toll door. If the credit is sufficient, the day beeps once and the barrier to the toll gate is automatically increased. If the balance is low (less than three remaining trips), the beep beeps twice. If the account balance cannot cover the cost of the toll, the gate remains closed and another payment method must be used. Balances can be automatically reloaded once a month by debit, credit card or cheque. 96. The government`s ability to control transport policy across the national road network should not be compromised. We are concerned that M6 Toll`s private operator, Midland Expressway Limited, has been almost fully controlled. This is a risky strategy and there is no guarantee that it will work in the public interest. If the government decides to pursue other private tolls, we urge that the transfer of electricity and barriers to adequate control, as is evident in the case of the M6 toll road, not be repeated. The southernst stretch of the M6 toll, south of Junction T1, is divided by traffic on the M42.
Vehicles that use only this 5-mile section are not subject to tolls. Staffordshire leaders, who are now closer to London, welcomed the opening of the road and said it would make it easier for them to do business.  The West Midlands Chief Engineers and Planning Officers Group considered it irresponsible to carry out a study before December 2004 on the impact of the M6 toll on traffic patterns, air quality and economic impact, as major roadworks would have a significant impact on results.  86. While the M6 toll has improved travel times, it has also increased traffic in the region. The number of vehicles on the M6 corridor increased from 144,000 in November 2003 before the opening of the M6 toll to 160,000 in November 2004.  Congestion developed at both ends of the M6 toll, where it merged with the motorway system.  The Highway Authority informed us that there had been traffic jams at the south end of the M6 toll since the road opened because traffic was destined for the M42 in a two-lane facility.