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M4 bus lane suspended

Date: 07 October 2010

The M4 bus lane has been axed after research showed journey times at peak periods would be reduced for motorists without significantly affecting vehicles currently using the lane.

Transport secretary Philip Hammond announced that drivers and hauliers will benefit from an extra lane on a key stretch of the M4 near London, which has previously only been open to licensed black taxis, motorcycles and buses.

The suspension will begin before Christmas and remain in place until June 2012 when the lane becomes part of the Olympic Route Network for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Department for Transport said after this the intention is to remove it permanently.

Hammond said: "I want to keep traffic moving and improve journey time reliability through making the most of our existing roads.

"The M4 is a vital strategic route and therefore it is important that we do everything possible to reduce congestion on it.

"Once the Olympics are over my intention is to scrap the bus lane permanently as I believe excluding road users in this way is unfair and damaging to the economy."

The Highways Agency will monitor the suspension over the next 18 months and traffic data gathered will be used to inform the Government's final decision about the future of the bus lane.

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