62-year-old British businessman Mike Watts opened a private toll road allowing drivers to avoid (at a cost) a 14-mile detour.

62-year-old British businessman Mike Watts opened a private toll road allowing drivers to avoid (at a cost) a 14-mile detour.

It all started in February when a landslip forced authorities to close the A431 road between Bath and Bristol in UK. Michael Watts saw a business opportunity in this and built his own private toll road across a field, allowing residents to avoid the 14-mile detour caused by the closed road. Built in approximately two weeks, the dirt road is 365 meters long, 7 meters wide and allows two-way traffic.

Mike Watts spent 150,000 GBP to build the road and he estimates another 150,000 GBP will go into maintenance and management costs in the following five months when the A431 will be reopened. To get back his investment, he established a 2 GBP fee for each car and 1 GBP for motorbikes for a one-way trip while those who buy 12 passes only have to pay 10.

With just five months to recoup a 300,000 GBP investment, Mike Watts is confident he will get his money back based on the amount of traffic registered on his road which was opened last Friday.

Be part of something big