The Freight Transport Association has called for HGVs to be exempt from M6 Toll charges to cut congestion and improve air quality.
The call follows publication of the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority Strategic Transport Plan, which identifies wider use of the toll among its key priorities: however, the FTA says this is not a viable option for freight as the cost currently stands at £11 for an HGV, which is prohibitive for operators.
Sally Gilson, Midlands policy manager for FTA, said: "The way to encourage wider use of the M6 Toll would be to make the essential movements of freight vehicles free at the point of use.
"This would help ease congestion on the M6 and give a more reliable journey time for freight.”
FTA said the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority should put pressure on toll operator Midlands Expressway to make essential freight journeys free as part of the Strategic Transport Plan.
Gilson said: "The free one-month trial carried out by Midlands Expressway in July 2013 proved that the use of the M6 Toll by HGVs would increase by removing the cost barrier, freeing up much needed capacity on the M6 and taking HGV journeys away from urban areas.
"For significant air quality improvement on the M6, it is crucial that congestion on this section of the motorway is improved.”