December 22nd 2004. Following Government proposals to introduce High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, it has been revealed that motorcyclists will be allowed to use these lanes with or without pillion passengers.

The M1 will be the first motorway to have an HOV lane, which will be introduced to reduce congestion. Initially, lone drivers will be prohibited from using the HOV lane, which will stretch between junctions seven and ten, during rush hour.

Reacting to this news, Craig Carey-Clinch, the Motorcycle Industry Association's Director of Public Affairs, commented: "Motorcycles are playing an increasingly important role as an alternative to the car and access to the proposed HOV lane will help riders to avoid having to filter through congestion, making their journeys safer, with the added benefit of reduced journey times."