Rental Bus

TENS of thousands of bus commuters face hours of extra gridlock each week because traffic authorities have removed the requirement for an afternoon bus lane during widening of the M2.

As part of the conditions attached to the $550 million M2 upgrade, Transurban was asked to set up a ''tidal flow'' bus lane to replace two bus lanes removed during construction. The flow of traffic on such a lane is reversed from morning to afternoon to match the heaviest traffic.

The Roads and Traffic Authority and the Department of Planning under the previous government dropped the requirement for a bus lane out of the city in the afternoon peak and agreed with Transurban the lane would be dangerous.

The new Transport Minister, Gladys Berejiklian, said yesterday she had asked for a briefing on the issue.

Since construction on the upgrade began in February, commuters say, the lack of a westbound bus lane has added up to an hour to their travel time. This is likely to persist for two years.

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