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Businessman sets up own toll road after growing tired of road closure delays

He invested £150,000 of his own money into the toll road. Credit: SWNS

A British businessman, tired of roadworks closing a road near his home, decided to set up his own toll road and charge motorists £2 a time to use it.

Mike Watts, 62, grew frustrated at driving on a detour around a section of the A431 which connects Bath and Bristol, after severe weather caused a landslip in February.

With the road not set to reopen until the end of the year, the entrepreneur decided to take action.

Mike Watts has said he has received a positive response to his new road. Credit: SWNS

After persuading local farmer John Dinham to rent him his empty field next to the A431, Watts hired his own workmen to build a 365m-long bypass in the field - using £150,000 of his own money.

Mike Watts grew frustrated at the delays caused by the roadworks. Credit: SWNS

Kelston toll road, which officially opened on Friday, is believed to be the first privately-run toll road for more than 100 years.

Cars and vans are charged £2 per entry, while motorcyclists have to pay £1 to travel along the road, which will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Motorists are charged £2 to gain entry through the road. Credit: SWNS

Watts said despite the difficulty in building the toll road, he has received a hugely positive reaction from the public who were growing tired of the detour caused by the roadworks.

"Building a toll road is not an easy everyday thing that people do, and in fact this is the first private toll road in Britain in at least 100 years.

"But I have had a 100 per cent positive response from the public on this.

"I think people are very grateful that we have taken the risk to keep pushing with this.

"It’s not easy to build your own toll road, I can tell you that, but we’ve got there in the end."

A road sign seen on the approach to Kelston toll road. Credit: SWNS

Bath and North East Somerset Council has criticised the project, questioning its safety and whether drivers would be insured on the road.

“The Council has no details to confirm the toll road design meets safety standards and no evidence that insurances are in place for any member of the public who use the private toll road," a council spokesman told Western Daily Press.