Is the M6 Motorway free at night and at the weekend?

With traffic levels predicted to return to normal levels in 2022, the M6 Toll road could help cut a significant chunk of time off your trip - but is the road free to use in the evening or at weekends?

Running from J3a south of Birmingham to Junction 11a to the north of the city, the toll road is designed to both cut journey times and ease congestion on the public motorway system around Birmingham. 

We look at how to use the paid section of motorway and if it will be free to use on Christmas Day 2022.

Is the M6 Toll Road free to use at the weekend?

No. The toll stretch of the motorway is not free to use at the weekend - either on Saturday or Sunday. However, there are discounted prices for doing so at the weekend - reduced at both peak and off-peak hours. See the table below for weekend pricing. 

Is the road free to use at night?

Again, the M6 Toll road is not free to use at night. However, there are reduced fees for evening and night-time use of the paid section. See the table below for details of price bands by time of use.

What is the M6 Toll Road and where is it?

The road, also known as the Midland Expressway, is 27 miles long and bypasses Birmingham and surrounding cities in the midlands. It also allows drivers travelling from the south east to bypass the busy intersection with the M5.
 

Is the M6 Toll Road free on Christmas Day, New Year's Day and other bank holidays in England?

No. The toll road section of the M6 will not be free for users over Christmas and on New Year's Say 2021/22. However, with 25 December being on a Saturday this year, drivers pay the reduced weekend rate. During peak hours, this is down from £7.00 to £6.10. 
 
Payment is not waived on any other English bank holidays. 
 

How much does it cost to use the toll road?

Weekday cost to use the road

'Early exit' refers to leaving on one of the junctions along the paid section of road before it rejoins the main motorway

Weekdays Motorcycle Motorcycle Car Car Car/trailer Car/trailer
  Full  Early exit Full Early exit Full Early exit
Day 7am-7pm £3.30 £2.30 £7.00 £5.00 £10.70 £7.60
Off-Peak Morning 5am-7am
Evening 7pm-11pm
£3.20 £2.20 £6.80 £5.00 £10.60 £7.50
Night (11pm-5am) £2.20 £1.60 £4.40 £3.40 £7.20 £5.10

Weekend cost to use the road

Weekends Motorcycle Motorcycle Car Car Car/trailer Car/trailer
  Full Early exit Full Early exit Full Early exit
Day 5am-11pm £3.20 £2.20 £6.10 £4.40 £9.30 £7.20
Night (11pm-5am) £2.20 £1.60 £4.40 £3.40 £7.20 £5.10

Will using the toll road cut my journey times this Christmas?

The M6 Toll Road is mainly of benefit for drivers heading from the south east of England to areas in the north west and vice versa. Anyone heading to the south west may not benefit because there is no direct connection to the M5. 
 
The owners have said that journey time is cut by 25 minutes during normal travel conditions, but Christmas and other bank holidays could see greater time-saving as abnormal congestion clogs the roads around Birmingham. 
 

Do I pay the M6 Toll road both ways?

Yes. The charge is payable in both directions. 
 

Do Blue Badge holders have to pay to use the M6 Toll Road?

Drivers with Blue Badges must apply and register before using the toll road if they are to avoid charges. 
 
 
There is a £7.00 yearly charge to register as exempt from paying the charge.
 

What if I accidentally use the M6 Toll Road and have no way of paying?

It has been said that the carriageway layout makes it easy for drivers to inadvertently enter the paid-for section. If you do this and have no method of payment, pull up at the plaza as you exit and press the assistance button. You will then be able to give your details and a payment notice will be issued to pay online later. Failure to pay this notice will result in a penalty of up to £70.
 

Can I pay with cash?

No - the option of paying with cash was removed during the pandemic, it has now been decided to make this a permanent policy. 
 

How do I pay for using the toll road?

There are three options open to drivers using the paid-for stretch of motorway when it comes to paying the charge:
 
  • TAG
  • Card - debit or credit and fuel cars.
  • Contactless cards

Find out more information about paying to use the road here

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