HC Deb 10 June 2002 vol 386 cc772-3W
Fiona Mactaggart

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment he has made of the impact of the M4 bus lane on(a) motorcyclists, (b) traffic speeds at off-peak hours and (c) congestion between Junction 4 and Junction 7 of the M4; [60638]

(2) when he will publish the results of his consultation on the use of the M4 bus lane. [60637]

Mr. Jamieson

I have asked the Chief Executive of the Highways Agency, Tim Matthews, to write to the hon. Member.

Letter from Tim Matthews to Fiona Mactaggart, dated 10 June 2002: I have been asked by the Transport Minister, David Jamieson, to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions about the M4 Bus Lane. The Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) monitored use of the Bus lane during its first year of operation including the effects of the bus lane on off-peak traffic and congestion to the west of Junction 4. A copy of their report was placed in the House of Commons Library in January 2001. The effectiveness of the bus lane has been closely monitored by the Highways Agency. They reported that it continues to alleviate peak congestion on this busy section of the motorway. However they recommended that the scheme could be improved by raising the speed limit between junction 4 and the elevated section to 60 mph and allowing motorcycles to use the lane designated for buses and taxis. Accident monitoring since the bus lane was introduced in June 1999 indicate that motorcycles are now slightly more at risk in peak periods. The numbers involved are small, but we believe that safety for motorcyclists will be improved by allowing them to use the bus lane.

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