M4 Bus Lane to Be Permanently Removed
Road users have 'reaped the benefits' of suspension
The Highways Agency is taking the first step towards a permanent removal of the M4 bus lane.
The agency say that the impact on air quality of suspending the bus lane was not significant; there is no evidence that the bus lane has produced a mode shift to more sustainable modes and there had been meaningful benefits to road users in terms of travel time since the removal.
They also rejected proposals to reduce the speed limit at this section of the motorway saying this would reverse some of the journey time savings experienced since the suspension and would not improve air quality significantly.
A Revocation Order will be made to permanently remove the bus lane, which operated between junctions 3 and 2 of the eastbound M4, into London and which has been temporarily suspended since November 2010.
This latest decision follows a period in which interested parties had the opportunity to comment on the proposal. Two objections to the bus lane's removal were received.
Simon Jones, Highways Agency Regional Director, said, “The suspension of the bus lane has reaped benefits for road users and has helped keep traffic moving along the M4 into London. We did receive two objections to the removal and are grateful to correspondents for their views, which have been very carefully considered. On balance we are satisfied that the Revocation Order to permanently remove the lane should proceed.”
The bus lane was introduced in 1999. After it was temporarily suspended, a study was carried out into the impact of the suspension and in April 2012 a report published by the Highways Agency showed motorists and hauliers had benefitted from the move.
As a result the Agency then published a notice signalling the Revocation Order, which was part of the statutory process to permanently remove the lane. The lane remained suspended throughout the process although it was used as a Games Family Lane during the Olympics.
A public notice announcing the order will be place in the technical and local press next month.
August 30, 2013