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Government drops first car share lane on M1

25 March 2008
Campaign for Better Transport [1] has discovered the Department for Transport has quietly dropped plans for the first car-share lane on the M1, promised by Alistair Darling in 2004 [2]. This revelation comes on the heels of Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly opening the ‘first’ motorway car-share lane on the M606/M62 last week [3]. 

The decision to drop the promised M1 car-share lane was buried on page 65 of an 80-page report published this month [4]

When Darling announced the M1 car-share lane in 2004, it was heralded as the first high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in Britain, and an “innovative scheme to reduce congestion and improve journey times on the M1”.  It would have run from junctions 7-10, from St Albans to Luton. However the Government has now decided that “we do not consider that the proposal developed for the M1 is the right solution for this location”.

Campaign for Better Transport wrote to Transport Minister Tom Harris in October 2007 asking him to re-commit to the M1 HOV lane but did not receive a reply until after the decision to drop the scheme had been taken.

Campaign for Better Transport’s roads and climate campaigner Rebecca Lush Blum said “We are disappointed that the Government has decided not to back the important M1 car-share lane. Car-share lanes work elsewhere in the world, cutting congestion and carbon emissions.”


Notes to editors

[1] Campaign for Better Transport works to secure transport policies and programmes that improve people’s quality of life whilst reducing environmental impact.


[3] Government press release: ”Ruth Kelly opens first Motorway car share lane” , 20 March 2008 

[4] Advanced motorway signalling and traffic management feasibility study.  A report to the Secretary of State for Transport, 4 March 2008. Paragraphs 7.35-36