M4 bus lane to be permanently suspended

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Motorists and hauliers have benefitted from the suspension of the M4 bus lane – according to Roads Minister Mike Penning.

A report published by the Highways Agency shows average journey times along the M4 into London have improved with overall journeys along the route made more reliable.

The Highways Agency will publish a notice of a Revocation Order, which is part of the statutory procedures to remove the lane, later this month.

Penning said: “I am pleased to confirm following the suspension of the M4 bus lane, overall journey times on this vital strategic route into London have improved.

“We said if suspending the M4 bus lane showed overall benefits to drivers, we would look to permanently remove the lane after the London 2012 Games, and the analysis the Highways Agency is publishing today shows this.”

The Bus Lane operated between junctions 3 and 2 of the eastbound M4. It was suspended in November 2010 under an Experimental Order under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984. At the time of its suspension, it was the subject of a two-page ‘News Focus’ piece in CBW. Coach operators, including London Minicoaches and Berry of Taunton reacted with fury at the decision.

Research by CBW found the usual public consultation process was effectively circumvented as it was implemented on an ‘experimental’ basis, allowing it to be introduced in an instant.

During the London 2012 Games later this year it is intended that the lane will be used as a Games Family Lane.