Kelly unveils motorway strategy

A study commissioned by her department has also been published today, clarifying plans to tackle congestion in towns and cities.

It looks likely that more hard shoulders will be opened to traffic, and 500 lane miles of motorway have been identified as having the potential for hard shoulder running.

The transport secretary said: "I am also interested to see what role car share or tolled lanes could play in helping traffic flow more smoothly – giving motorists a choice about how they make their journeys."

In the US, toll lanes are referred to disparagingly as ‘Lexus lanes’ because they tend to be the preserve of wealthy drivers of large cars.

There are fears that asking motorists to pay up to £5 to avoid jams by using the motorway hard shoulder in traffic black spots could price many Brits off the roads.

Rising petrol prices have put a dent in motorists’ finances although the government has postponed a proposed 2p rise in fuel tax duty.

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