Car lane plans scrapped

PUBLISHED: 14:24 07 March 2008 | UPDATED: 13:01 06 May 2010

Plans to put a special lane reserved for high-occupancy vehicles on the M1 between Junctions 7 and 10, St Albans and Luton, have been scrapped because of safety concerns. The so-called high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are designed to encourage more peop

Plans to put a special lane reserved for high-occupancy vehicles on the M1 between Junctions 7 and 10, St Albans and Luton, have been scrapped because of safety concerns.

The so-called high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are designed to encourage more people to share car journeys and so cut down on motorway congestion where rush-hour cars often have just one occupant.

The lane is meant to be a "road within a road" where on a motorway it is separated from the general-purpose lanes either by a physical barrier or by double white lines.

Plans had been developed by the Department for Transport for a HOV lane between Junctions 7 and 10 but it was found that the reserved carriageway could not be located on the inside lane because that would create problems for traffic leaving or joining the motorway at the two junctions that section contains.

It was then proposed to put the HOV lane in the outside lane but that led to fears of an increase in accidents and the fact that no present camera systems are able to enforce the vehicle occupancy rules. That means the police would have to enforce the policy put they wouldn't be able to pull drivers over in the outside lane because of the speed of the traffic and the absence of refuges or suitable locations in which they could safely stop offending motorists.

This section of the M1 is in the process of being widened.

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