M4 Bus Lane to be Scrapped

Transport Secretary says it's the end of 'the war on the motorist'


Cabbies Turn Into Traffic Cops

M4 Bus Lane 'Hardly Being Enforced'

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A decision has been taken to scrap the controversial M4 bus lane. Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond is to announce officially on Monday that the 3.5 lane between junctions 3 and 2 on the motorway will be suspended from 24th December this year and to the start of the Olympics in July 2012. It is expected to be scrapped permanently after that.

The bus lane is the only one on a motorway in the UK and was put in place by John Prescott in 1999. Its proponents denied that it slowed traffic flow as the lane helped traffic merge into two lanes from three more smoothly but it attracted a high level of criticism including from Jeremy Clarkson who described it as 'that stupid pinko bus lane.' Official figures show that although only 7% of vehicles use the lane, 21% of passengers benefit from it.

Interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live, Mr Hammond described the bus lane as a 'piece of folly' that was part of 'Labour's war on the motorist'. He said, "Introduced 10 years ago, predicted not to be effective and in fact that's been the experience of most people. "

The move received support from the RAC Foundation with director, Stephen Glaister, saying, "Most drivers on the M4 will wonder why this decision has taken so long. Road capacity is in short supply and to have an under-used lane like this has made little sense. While other motorways have been widened to allow for the growth in traffic, on this stretch of the M4 capacity was actually being reduced."

October 3, 2010