Bus lanes on the A38 Tyburn Road in Birmingham are likely to remain suspended into the summer of 2007.
A controversial order allowing all vehicles to use the lanes on one of the city's busiest commuter routes was reaffirmed by the city council cabinet yesterday.
Members agreed that a public consultation exercise on future arrangements for the road would not begin until extensive roadworks on the M6 are completed at the beginning of next year.
Residents and road users will then be asked which of three options they would like to see - restoration of the bus lanes, a trial allowing buses and heavy goods vehicles to share the lanes, or the permanent removal of the lanes.
The delay in carrying out the consultation means the bus lanes will have been out of action for almost three years by the time the council finally takes a decision about the future of the Tyburn Road.
Mike Whitby, the leader of Birmingham City Council, denied a decision to scrap the bus lanes permanently had already been taken. "There is nothing doctrinal about this," he said.