HIGH-OCCUPANCY vehicle – or HOV – lanes are supposed to reduce congestion, slash journey times and reduce harmful emissions by encouraging motorists to share their cars.

So far they haven’t really worked out like that in Bradford.

The £300,000 car share lane along the southbound A650 was ditched after failing to deliver five years ago.

The M606 was chosen as the first motorway to have a car pool lane in 2007. Converting the 1.7 mile-long stretch cost almost £4m.

The idea was that cars with more than one occupant would save time by avoiding traffic lights at the busy Chain Bar junction.

But the scheme was suspended 18 months ago. Bizarrely, Highways England says the suspension was to “ease congestion”, which is precisely what it was supposed to do.

Now the suspension has been extended for another 18 months to allow for further monitoring of traffic flows at the junction.

We fear the car-pool project is doomed to fail because it is so difficult to police.

There are no cameras monitoring cars using the HOV lane on the M606, only a traffic refuge for a patrol car which, by necessity, is only used occasionally. Motorists can flout the rules safe in the knowledge they are unlikely to be caught.

Improvements to the M606/M62 junction were included in Highways England’s £15 billion road upgrade plan announced last October.

If the upgrade doesn’t make provision for some form of effective vehicle monitoring it is surely time to call a permanent halt to the HOV experiment.