The Transport Secretary has ordered the suspension of the M4 bus lane after latest analysis showed that journey times at peak periods would be reduced for car drivers and hauliers without significantly affecting vehicles currently allowed to use the lane.
The suspension will begin before Christmas and remain in place until June 2012 when the lane becomes part of the Olympic Route Network for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. After this the intention is to remove it permanently.
Philip Hammond said:
"I want to keep traffic moving and improve journey time reliability through making the most of our existing roads.
"The M4 is a vital strategic route and therefore it is important that we do everything possible to reduce congestion on it.
"Once the Olympics are over my intention is to scrap the bus lane permanently as I believe excluding road users in this way is unfair and damaging to the economy."
The Highways Agency will monitor the suspension over the next 18 months and traffic data gathered will be used to inform the Government's final decision about the future of the bus lane.