A controversial overtaking ban for lorries on a three-mile stretch of the northbound M42 in Warwickshire is to go ahead, the Government will announce today.
The daytime ban on the steep uphill stretch of motorway - notorious for traffic congestion - will be trialled for 18 months from 7am from next Monday.
The idea was mooted almost a year ago and was roundly criticised by hauliers who estimate 400,000 HGVs will be delayed by the plan.
West Midlands business leaders also condemned it as damaging to the economy by creating delivery delays.
The overtaking restriction will affect lorries of 7.5 tonnes between Junction 10 ( Tamworth) and Junction 11 ( Appleby Magna).
The Highways Agency's aim is to reduce congestion and cut the risk of accidents caused by slow-moving traffic on the long uphill section, which is only two lanes wide.
The overtaking ban will run until 7pm at night.
Minister for Roads Dr Stephen Ladyman said: "We are committed to tackling congestion. This stretch of the M42 gets congested with lorries going slowly up the hill, causing car drivers to get frustrated.
" I'm hoping this new restriction on heavy lorries will make journeys safer and the roads less congested."
Iftikhar Mir, from the HA, said: "The motorway here is just two lanes wide, with a long uphill gradient, and heavy goods vehicles make up 17 per cent of the traffic.
"Heavy vehicles slow down on the uphill slope and when they try to overtake each other, it can block the motorway and slow down the traffic for several miles. Drivers caught up in the resulting queues become frustrated and that leads to an increased risk of accidents and further traffic delays.
"In the Netherlands, where lorries are banned from overtaking on 1,000 miles of motorway, road capacity has been increased by four per cent."
Signs advising drivers of the "Journey Time Trial" will be installed alongside the M42 later this week.
When the idea was first suggested last November, Jerry Blackett, policy director at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry and chairman of the West Midlands Business Transport Group, said the proposal was a "Band-Aid to what is a much more fundamental problem - delivering sufficient road capacity to keep the economy of this country moving".
The Freight Transport Association came out even more strongly against the scheme.
It questioned why the M42 was being prepared for fourlane running through the Active Traffic Management scheme further south on the motorway, only to create a "one lane freight bottleneck" a few miles up the road, with all HGVs travelling at the speed of the slowest.