Birmingham's first US-style " carpool lane" could be introduced in the city within a year, it has been revealed.
The four-and-a-half mile high-occupancy lane would be piloted on the Heartlands Spine Road if the city's cabinet, as expected, rubber-stamps a report recommending the plan next Monday.
The Conservative-Liberal Democrat administration has signalled the possible removal of bus lanes across the city next year and the HOV lane - which it eventually wants to introduce on the major arterial routes - will instead give priority to vehicles carrying two or more people.
As part of a drive to use the city's congested roadspace more efficiently, the council is also preparing to trial other special vehicle lanes, giving priority to taxis, private hire cars and freight.
The report to be considered at cabinet next week does admit lane enforcement would be a problem - camera technology to detect the number of people in a car is being developed but is not yet available.
The policy might also lure people off public transport and back into their cars.
The report states: "It will be necessary to carefully monitor bus use on parallel corridors as there is a risk that there will be a switch from public transport to HOVs, which will reduce the impact of HOV lanes on congestion."
Transportation officers have chosen the Heartlands Spine Road - from Ashted Circus to Spitfire Island - because it represents a commuter corridor serving an area of relatively high car ownership with limited public transport provision. If approved, initial design and feasibility work will be completed in January with the detailed design to be completed in June next year.
The city council also wants to link the trial in with a wider promotion of car sharing across the city and will seek co-operation with businesses along the Spine Road to persuade employees to car share.
"The more people a vehicle carries, the more efficient that vehicle is," the report states.
It adds the council's strategy for cutting congestion "embraces the essential role of car travel".
Nearly three million people live within a 30-minute car journey of Birmingham city centre and the city has the second busiest A-roads outside London.