Bus lanes are to be introduced along the Farnborough Road (A325), Farnborough, and also the A30 in Camberley. The work will start on the Farnborough end in the spring and will take about nine months to complete.

The scheme will cost £3 million, with Surrey and Hampshire county councils each contributing £1 million and bus company Stagecoach putting in another £1 million. Rushmoor, Surrey Heath and Bracknell Forest councils have joined the two county councils and Stagecoach in a "quality bus partnership" to undertake the project.

In Farnborough the bus lanes will be:

* A short stretch between Boundary Road and Pinehurst roundabout (by the council offices);

* Around the Ham and Blackbird gyratory system at the station;

* Between Highgate Lane and Prospect Avenue;

* At Bradfords roundabout near Farnborough Gate.

Space reallocated

In Surrey Heath the lanes will be at various places along the A30.

They will be fitted in by "re-allocating the road spaces" and in places by using the central cross-hatching.

In some locations the roads will be widened, but it will be done without needing to knock down any buildings or make any compulsory purchases.

Work starts from the Farnborough end and will be done in four phases, with the first phase, from Boundary Road, starting in March. The entire project will take about a year and tenders are out at the moment.

The buses will get priority at traffic lights, and may be fitted with devices which cause the lights to turn green as they approach. Cars will be banned from the lanes and drivers caught using them will be fined. Stagecoach is increasing the frequency of buses from every 20 minutes to every 15 minutes.

It has pledged to invest £1 million in ten new vehicles for the route this year. Hampshire County Council's Executive member for Environment, Coun Keith Estlin, said: "Substantial surveys carried out in the area have shown that residents would consider using the bus as an alternative to the private car for short local journeys, if the service was reliable."

For Rushmoor, Coun Roland Dibbs said the idea was to make it more attractive for people to use buses and take some of the pressure off the roads. He said that obviously there would be some disruption while the work was done, but that hopefully many people would find it preferable to leave their cars at home and hop on a bus.

He added that during a lengthy consultation period people who filled in questionnaires had indicated that they would be inclined to use buses if they were more reliable and more frequent. The new buses would be low loading, making it possible for wheelchair users to roll on and off. This would also appeal to the elderly and mothers with pushchairs.