In 2004, the A4174 High Occupancy Vehicle Lane (HOV) – otherwise known as the 2+ lane – was extended from the Church Lane overbridge to the Wick Wick roundabout on an experimental basis.
At the time the extension was introduced, the consultation received over 300 responses with nearly 80 per cent opposing it.
In line with these views, the shortening of the 2+ lane was announced in April 2009 after a council review of the efficiency and effectiveness of the HOV lanes.
The review was ordered last year by Cllr Brian Allinson, South Gloucestershire Council’s Conservative transport chief since 2007, after traffic monitoring figures showed that usage of the 2+ lane had flat-lined over recent years, despite efforts to promote car sharing. This suggested that of those drivers that are left, many of them simply cannot car share for various reasons.
Other changes announced by the Council in April included plans to:
- change the HOV lane to a Priority Vehicle Lane, allowing HGVs and driver-only taxis to use it; and
- reduce the HOV lane’s hours of operation from 07.30 to 09.30 (currently it starts at 07.00)
Emersons Green Cllrs. Colin Hunt, James Hunt and Ian Morris, who have campaigned on the issue, have welcomed the extensions’ removal. They said:
“We are pleased that the experimental extension of the 2+ lane has been removed as this is something that many of our residents have been asking for.
There was much consultation at the time of the introduction of the extension where a huge majority of responses clearly opposed the extension.
Yet these legitimate views were dismissed at the time and the extension has remained ever since.
We are grateful to Cllr Allinson for acting on residents concerns about the extension.”
“Ever since the 2+ lane was first introduced, huge numbers of residents in Downend, Emersons Green and beyond feel they are being unfairly discriminated against because they don’t have the option of using it.
The rest of the Council’s proposed changes should go some way to addressing these feelings and wider plans to provide a park and ride on the proposed Emersons Green East development to tackle congestion are to be welcomed.”
Source: Conservatives on South Gloucestershire Council