Main Black Country route set to become toll road in shake up

A section of the Birmingham New Road/Wolverhampton Road between Coseley and Quinton will require drivers who wish to use it to pay a fee - effectively asking Black Country residents to pay to enter Birmingham.

The road - a main arterial route between the cities of Wolverhampton and Birmingham - is well known for traffic jams at peak times of the day. For a number of years, traffic bosses have looked at methods to try and calm the build up of vehicles, including proposals to continue the carriageway straight through Birchley Island in Oldbury.

However recent consultations have seen a rise in popularity for the idea of a fee structure to be implemented, meaning motorists wanting to avoid charges would need to find an alternative route to get to their destination.

In plans, leaked to Black Country Radio, a tariff (beginning at up to £18 per day for a car and £22 per day for larger vehicles) could be imposed as quickly as the end of April by Pill Roofa - the company drafted in to run the new toll road which will become known as the Greater Birmingham Toll Route. A spokesperson for Pill Roofa said:

"We can't wait to bring in the fee structure which we hope will be supported by local residents. Birmingham has a nice town hall and at least two branches of Wagamama, so we can't see any reason someone wouldn't want to pay to visit?

"We appreciate you could nip to Halesowen and jump on the M5 for free, but that seems like a lot of effort. We hope Black Country locals will be happy with the proposal and we look forward to welcoming them onto the Greater Birmingham Toll Route soon."

Toll booths will sit at the beginning of the route - just outside McDonalds in Coseley - and at the opposite end, where the road joins with the Hagley Road.

As this is so close to Birmingham, Black Country locals will also be asked to present a passport to gain access.

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