Highways Agency Announce M4 Bus Lane Permanently Removed

The controversial lane had been temporarily suspended for three years


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The M4 bus lane has been removed permanently from today (Oct 10). The Highways Agency said that the move was to maintain improvements to journeys along the route.

The announcement coincides with the expiry of the temporary legislation under which the bus lane has been suspended since November 2010. The closure of the controversial lane had been announced three years ago by the then Transport Minister Philip Hammond.

The decision to revoke the legislation was announced by the Highways Agency in August 2013.

The bus lane, which was introduced in 1999, operated between junctions 3 and 2 of the eastbound M4 into London along a 3.5 mile stretch. Only buses, licensed black taxis and motorcycles were allowed to use the lane between Heathrow Airport and central London. It was very unpopular with motorists during its eleven-year period of operation.

The bus lane was criticised for being rarely used and was often referred to as the 'Blair Lane' after the former Prime Minister used it to avoid heavy traffic. But John Prescott, the Minister who introduced it had argued studies proved the bus lane reduced traffic jams.

While it was unpopular with motorists, London black-cab drivers said it helped the flow of the 4,000 daily cab journeys from the airport to central London.

The lane was temporarily restored for the London Olympics in 2012.


October 10, 2013