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California has bus lane solution

HAVING moved here from California, I've never been able to understand the attitude to bus lanes.

In California they are known as HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lanes and are open to any vehicle carrying two or more occupants.

Initially, there were abuses – the most common being to carry an inflatable doll on the front passenger seat. But once the California Highway Patrol copped on to this, the abuse was deflated.

On the I-80 into San Francisco, HOV lanes require a minimum of three people per vehicle. However, at a park 'n' ride, people queue to be picked up by private cars, making a complement of three and allowing use of the HOV lane, which in peak hours by-passes the toll booths of the Bay Bridge.

Operational only at commute times, with the requisite number of occupants, California's HOV lanes are open to buses, coaches, taxis, limos, cars and motorcycles. Why not here?

MICHAEL DRYHURST

By email

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