The UK's first motorway car share lane has opened near Bradford.
The 1.7-mile lane links the southbound M606 near Bradford to the eastbound M62 towards Leeds.
It is open to cars and taxis with two or more occupants, as well as buses and coaches, and bypasses the notoriously congested section where the two motorways merge.
It is estimated the new lane, which has been built in addition to the existing motorway lanes, will save road users an average of seven minutes per journey.
The lane can be used by high occupancy vehicles on a permanent basis, 24 hours a day.
However, it will be of benefit to a limited number of drivers - currently, four out of five vehicles using this part of the motorway network have only one occupant.
“I hope this new lane will encourage people to share their journeys, which will ease congestion, cut journey times and improve local air quality,” said transport minister Ruth Kelly.
“As the new lane creates extra capacity, other vehicles on the M606 and M62 could also benefit from improved journey times.”
The Government has identified some 500 miles of motorway that will have new traffic management measures, such as car share lanes, introduced in the coming months.