London, 11 Dec 2004.
For immediate release.

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Press Release

Lane Discipline, Not Lane Theft, Says ABD
The ABD today described Government proposals for High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes as 'lane theft' - and suggested that what is needed instead is enforcement of lane discipline.
Under Government proposals, the outside lane of motorways would be restricted to vehicles carrying two or more people. This will simply result in one lane being under utilised whilst the rest grind along in a congested polluting crawl. The proposal, which brings to mind the disastrous M4 bus lane, would be piloted on the M1.
"Britain's motorists already pay eight times the true cost of our roads in road tax alone," said ABD chairman Brian Gregory. "Now the Government proposes to add insult to injury by stealing lanes from the people who paid for them to be built."
The ABD argued that the obvious long term solution to congestion is to build more roadspace into the system. In the meantime, there is a far more effective solution than lane theft: educate drivers to maximise use of roadspace by exercising correct lane discipline and using the slip roads to carry out acceleration and braking.
ABD chairman Brian Gregory said:
"Motorway congestion could be greatly eased if the government launched a TV and media education programme encouraging drivers to use the leftmost lanes except when overtaking and showing them how to use the slip roads to accelerate and slow down when entering and leaving motorways. Too many drivers impede safe traffic flow by failing to match their speed when entering or slowing down on the motorway instead of using the slip road for this purpose, this is often why congestion builds up around interchanges. Others restrict flow by staying in the middle and outer lanes when lane 1 is virtually empty."
ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries said:
"Unfortunately this government seems to have no understanding of the concept of driver education except for the constant parroting of the 'speed kills' mantra"
The ABD do however support the policy of converting existing bus lanes for uses of vehicles with two or more occupants. Humphries explained:
"Converting bus lanes to HOV lanes would increase usable road space and increase efficiency by filling usually empty lanes. This is very different from making ordinary motorway lanes into HOV lanes - this is an inefficient use of road space."


Notes for Editors