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UK's first car-share lane opens

Date: 20 March 2008

Car sharing lane hopes to ease congestion

Transport minister Ruth Kelly has opened the UK's first car-share lane.

The hard shoulder of the road between the southbound M606 and the eastbound M62 toward Leeds has been adapted for the use of cars and taxis carrying two or more people.

The Highways Agency claims the 1.7-mile stretch will save road users an average of seven minutes per journey.

The hard shoulder has been adapted by building new lay-by areas to act as an emergency refuge for broken-down vehicles.

Minibuses, coaches and buses can also use the lane and motorcyclists will also be able to use it whether carrying passengers or not. HGVs, however, will not be allowed to use the lane.

Enforcement will be carried out by West Yorkshire Police.

Ruth Kelly said: "This new lane offers motorists the opportunity to reduce both their journey times and their carbon footprints.

"Currently, four out of five vehicles using this busy junction have only one occupant. I hope this new lane will encourage people to share their journeys, which will ease congestion, cut journey times and improve local air quality.

"The Government is committed to finding innovative ways to get more from our existing roads and improving journeys for motorists. We have identified around 500 miles of motorway as potential priority sites for new traffic management measures, which may also include more car share lanes."