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Losses at the company which operates the M6 toll road continued to mount last year as the volume of traffic using the route fell.

For the year ending 31 December 2019, Midland Expressway (MEL) reported a £10.4m pre-tax loss, compared with an £8.2m loss in the previous year.

Revenue also reduced by 1.7% to £89.5m in the period.

MEL said traffic along the 27-mile road fell by 7.7% to 16.8m vehicles and reflected an annual average daily traffic of 45,976.

In a statement signed off by the board it said: “The fall was driven principally by a reduction in long-distance car journeys, a feature noticed across the West Midlands corridor, with more stable performance in heavy commercial traffic.”

MEL added: “The recent outbreak of Covid-19 has clearly affected many parts of the UK economy including transport operators and transport infrastructure providers such as M6toll; this has typically been manifested in materially lower volumes as movement restrictions have been put into place to control the spread of the virus.”