Fleets will welcome the findings of a new survey which has found that two-thirds of private motorists say they would not use proposed high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes, leaving them clear for business users.
The HOT lanes will be set aside for cars with more than one occupant, which will be able to use them for free, and for cars with just a driver who will be required to pay a toll.
The lanes are being considered as part of government plans to increase capacity and journey times on some of the country’s busiest motorways.
According to an AA survey of 11,300 motorists, 65% said they would not use HOT lanes.
Even if they had the option to use the lane when in a hurry and the speed limit was raised to 80mph, only 35% would but 51% would still not use it out of principle.
“The poll indicates that drivers have little appetite to pay to use HOT lanes to avoid congestion even with the possible trade-off of a 10mph higher speed limit,” Edmund King, AA president said.
“Dedicated lanes on motorways will do little to ease congestion if drivers don’t buy into the idea.”
Meanwhile, the RAC Foundation has warned the government that initiatives such as hard-shoulder running will not be enough to manage future traffic levels.
In a review of the motorway network published this week, it said concentrating all road improvements on existing motorways through measures such as widening and hard-shoulder running is problematic because existing junctions and access roads are unlikely to cope with increased traffic volumes, said the report.
“New road building is also needed if the demands of the economy are to be met.”
The foundation recommends developing new roads to motorway standard.
Professor Stephen Glaister, the foundation’s director said: “Simply widening existing routes and implementing hard shoulder running will not provide adequate and resilient roads for the future.”
However, the government is accelerating work to make better use of motorways, including measures such as introducing hard-shoulder running, after it announced a further £700m in funding.