M4 bus lane to be scrapped

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The Independent Online

An unpopular bus lane on a busy motorway, introduced by John Prescott in 1999, is to be scrapped.

The Transport Secretary, Philip Hammond, will announce on Monday that the 3.5-mile-long lane on a London-bound section of the M4 will be suspended from 24 December until the Olympics start in July 2012.

Mr Hammond will say that, after the Olympics, he plans to scrap the lane permanently.

There was much criticism of the lane when it was introduced and it was known as the "Blair lane" after the former prime minister used it to avoid heavy traffic.

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference, Mr Hammond will say: "Nothing is more symbolic of Labour's war on the motorist than the M4 bus lane. It was John Prescott's idea and I think that says it all.

"I can announce today that from the end of December until the Olympics the M4 bus lane will be suspended. And once the Olympics are over, my intention is to scrap it permanently."

The lane will however be back in use for the Olympics.