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Dispute over policing for M606 car share lane

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THERE WAS confusion this week about who would enforce the Highways Agency's first car share lane, due to come into operation in Yorkshire next year.

West Yorkshire Police appeared to contradict the Agency and the Department for Transport (DfT) by stating that it will enforce the lane.

The Highways Agency and the DfT said they had not yet worked out who would enforce it.

The Agency said this week that it would spend £2.5M converting one of three existing lanes on the M606/M62 from Bradford into a lane reserved only for cars with two or more occupants.

When fully operational in 2007, the 1.6km lane will allow car-sharers to shave eight minutes off their journey between Bradford and the M62.

Using the police to enforce car share lanes is a potentially controversial move because it could be a distraction from their main role of road safety.

'Obviously there is an issue with enforcement. The police already have a lot of offences to enforce and this is an unwelcome addition, ' said a Conservative Party spokesman.

Existing, relatively small local authority car share lanes in Leeds, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset all rely on police enforcement.

But this is provided on an ad-hoc basis, without dedicated police teams.

The M606 scheme will be closely followed by a much larger one on the M1 between junctions 7 and 10. This is being installed as part of the widening scheme which started this week and will be ready in 2008.

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