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M6 Toll teams up with Masternaut to boost road transport performance

M6 Toll
1 May, 2005

Masternaut and M6 Toll have joined forces to help the road transport industry improve its efficiency and service levels. The venture will see joint promotion of technological innovations aimed at commercial vehicle operators who are looking to cut costs and improve fleet performance. The developments will be of particular appeal to operators of vehicles bound by recently introduced Working Time regulations.

The first initiative sees M6 Toll Tags being offered as part of a Masternaut package, with all Masternaut-equipped vehicles getting a Tag pre-loaded with £30 of credit. The Tags incorporate a high frequency radio transmitter; barriers are raised automatically and the Tag account is also debited automatically. As well as allowing quick and convenient passage through the toll lane, Tag customers get all their transaction and account details online making it ideal for company run fleets.

Masternaut's services provide tracking by satellite and GPRS continual communications, with a host of services such as fleet control and driver hour management that are all made available by simply logging onto the web. In-vehicle equipment allows messaging, job despatch with routing and navigation as part of a powerful solution for managing mobile resources.

[Photo : Tom Fanning, Managing Director of M6 Toll operator Midland Expressway (on right) with Martin Port, Managing Director of Masternaut - M6 Toll lanes in the background]

"Anyone using the M6 will be well aware of the high number of commercial vehicles on the road and the frequent traffic jams on the Birmingham stretch. The M6 Toll road and Tag technology, combined with Masternaut, all have had a big impact in reducing travel time, mileage, fuel consumption and congestion. With drivers hours now having to be cut due to Working Time Regulations, commercial vehicle operators need all the help they can get to maximise driver utilisation" says Martin Port, Managing Director of Masternaut.

Masternaut already has strong ties with toll roads, being owned by Sanef, a primary operator of French toll roads. M6 Toll is operated by Midland Expressway Limited (MEL), a private company backed by major Australian and Italian companies who are involved with toll roads worldwide.

"Working with Masternaut made a lot of sense as we both use tried and tested technology" says Tom Fanning, Managing Director of MEL. "We’ve also recently announced the introduction of Tag discounts for account holders which means regular users will save 5% on every journey from 14 June 2005.”

About the M6 Toll

The M6 Toll is a key strategic route through the West Midlands and is Britain's only tolled motorway. The 27-mile route links the M6 and M42 to the south of Birmingham and the M6 north of Birmingham, bypassing the most congested section of the M6 which runs past Birmingham. Since it opened in December 2003, use has gradually increased and it now carries around 47,000 vehicles a day; vehicles that would otherwise be travelling on the congested M6 around Birmingham.

M6 Toll's origins stretch back to 1980, when the government realised for the first time, the need to ease congestion through the West Midlands conurbation. The M6 was built to carry just 72,000 vehicles a day, but today has to cope with up to 160,000. The early suggestion was to widen the current M6 but part of the M6 is built on a viaduct, so this wasn't realistic so the decision was taken to build a new motorway. This was to follow existing roads: the A5, A38 and A446, all of which would also benefit from reduced congestion. In 1991, the Government decided the M6 Toll would be a privately funded venture and Midland Expressway were awarded the concession to run the M6 Toll for 53 years to 2054. The road actually opened 6 weeks early on 9 December 2003.


Masternaut, Priory Park, Great North Road, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3DF
Fax: 0113 281 4009
e-mail: info@masternaut.co.uk


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