M4 bus lane suspension plans

Tom Barry made this Freedom of Information request to Highways Agency

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Highways Agency should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Highways Agency,

With regard to the public announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport that the M4 eastbound bus lane is to be suspended from this December, could I kindly request the following:

1) Details of road layout changes to the M4 between J5 and J1 to be implemented at that time
2) Details of speed limit changes to the M4 between J5 and J1 to be implemented at that time
3) Details of any assessments of air pollution and climate change impacts of the policy in the London area, whether completed already or required by law
4) Details of any assessments of modal shift impacts of the policy, whether completed or intended to be completed
5) Any communications regarding the proposed suspension that your Agency has had with Transport for London or the office of the Mayor of London
6) Average figures of how many vehicles currently use that stretch of the M4 daily, broken down by type (bus/coach/car/taxi/HGV/private hire/motorbike)
7) Historical figures for average daily vehicle usage on that stretch of the M4 dating back to 1995, if available

Yours faithfully,

Tom Barry

Dear Tom Barry,

Thank you for contacting the Highways Agency Information Line on 02/10/10 with your Freedom of Information (FOI) request. Your request has been forwarded to the relevant team who will respond within 20 working days under ref 13070715.

In the meantime, please take a look at the following link: http://www.highways.gov.uk/foiresponses/... for more information regarding the Highways Agency's process for FOI requests

Regards,

Melissa McCalla, HAIL Advisor
Highways Agency Information Line
Tel: +44 (0) 300 123 5000 | Fax: + 44 (0) 121 3358370
Web: http://www.highways.gov.uk

Safe roads, Reliable journeys, Informed travellers
Highways Agency, an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport.

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Cunningham, Samantha,

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Barry,

Please see attached letter.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly

Samantha Cunningham
Highways Agency | Federated House | London Road | Dorking | RH4 1SZ
Web: [1]http://www.highways.gov.uk

Safe roads, Reliable journeys, Informed travellers
Highways Agency, an Executive Agency of the Department for Transport.

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References

Visible links
1. http://www.highways.gov.uk/

Dear Mrs Cunningham,

Regarding your request dated 5th October for clarification of my FoI request of the 3rd October 2010 I enclose a brief clarification of each point and what I would like to see:

1) Details of road layout changes to the M4 between J5 and J1 to be implemented at that time - essentially I'd like to see plans of the intended work to the road layout between junctions 5 and 1 of the eastbound M4 proposed to be implemented in December 2010 under the Secretary of State's recently announced suspension of the M4 bus lane. This would include lane marking changes (including how many lanes will be available for general traffic), signage changes, road colouring changes, enforcement camera changes - essentially what physical work is proposed to indicate the revision in status of the M4 bus lane from December 2010

2) Details of speed limit changes to the M4 between J5 and J1 to be implemented at that time - when the original bus lane was introduced the speed limit was reduced, and is currently 60mph from Junction 4 until the end of the bus lane whereupon it drops to 40 for the rest of the motorway. I would like to know if there are any plans to change the limits between Junctions 5 and 1 to be implemented as part of the bus lane suspension

3) Details of any assessments of air pollution and climate change impacts of the policy in the London area, whether completed already or required by law - since one of the aims of the bus lane was reduction in stop-start traffic (which tends to create more air pollution), I wanted to know if any environmental assessments were either already available or planned to be completed estimating changes in road vehicle polluting emissions or CO2 emissions arising from the suspension of the bus lane, particularly given the sensitive nature of London's air quality and possible European fines.

4) Details of any assessments of modal shift impacts of the policy, whether completed or intended to be completed - since the main beneficiaries of the current road layout are bus and taxi users, I wanted to know if any assessment has been made or will be made assessing the likely switch away from these forms of transport towards the private car as a result of this decision

5) Any communications regarding the proposed suspension that your Agency has had with Transport for London or the office of the Mayor of London - since the Mayor is responsible for the major trunk roads joining the M4, including the A4, I wanted to know if TfL or the Mayor's office had been involved or made representations to your Agency about the proposed suspension of the bus lane. This includes the proposed reinstatement for the 2012 Summer Olympics, for which TfL and the Mayor must presumably have been involved as well as the impact on air quality, where the Mayor also has a responsibility

6) Average figures of how many vehicles currently use that stretch of the M4 daily, broken down by type (bus/coach/car/taxi/HGV/private hire/motorbike) - it has proved rather hard to get any estimates of the balance of vehicle types using the road in that area, so I would like to see what assessments of current road usage between Junction 5 and 1 of the eastbound M4 are kept, broken down by vehicle type (bus/coach/car/taxi/HGV/private hire/motorbike)) per day

7) Historical figures for average daily vehicle usage on that stretch of the M4 dating back to 1995, if available - as a regular user of the road I've noticed the vehicle mix changing over recent years and wanted to know if this was reflected objectively in official figures. This is therefore the same requirement as 6) but expressed historically (on a yearly basis is fine).

Please don't hesitate to seek further clarification on these points, and thank you for your reply.

Yours sincerely

Tom Barry
London, W4

Dear Highways Agency,

Could you please confirm that you have received my response to your request for clarification, sent on the 3rd November 2010?

Yours faithfully,

Tom Barry

Dear Mr Barry,

Thank you for your email to the Highways Agency.

I can confirm that your clarification was received via whatdotheyknow.com on the 3rd November 2010.

Kind regards,

Jon Allen
Highways Agency Information Line
Tel: 0300 123 5000
Email [Highways Agency request email]

Safe roads, Reliable journeys, Informed travellers

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King, John,

Dear Mr Barry

Thank you for your email of the 12 November asking for confirmation that
we have received your response to our request for clarification. The
email below, sent on 15 November to the address you had previously given
us, confirms that we received your clarification on 26 October. We also
received a further copy on 3 November.

Yours sincerely

John King

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King, John,

Dear Mr Barry

Thank you for your email of the 12 November asking for confirmation that
we have received your response to our request for clarification. The
email below, sent on 15 November to the address you had previously given
us, confirms that we received your clarification on 26 October. We also
received a further copy on 3 November.

Yours sincerely

John King

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