A RADICAL plan to let lorries use the hard shoulder of the M62 could be discussed.

That is one of a number of items to be debated in a study of the region's motorway system.

Transport Secretary Alistair Darling has asked the Government's Highways Agency to look at ways the motorway system in West and South Yorkshire would best cope during periods of heavy use.

The M62 and M1 will be under particular scrutiny.

In another move, the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly - made up of representatives of councils and organisations such as the police - has commissioned a paper into how lorries can more easily get in and out of towns and villages.

Mark Sutcliffe, chairman of the Yorkshire and Humberside Freight Transport Council of the Freight Transport Association, said of the motorway study: "The M1 north of Chesterfield and the M62 are strategic routes for regional, national and international freight."

He said journey times could vary widely, costing firms dearly.

Potential improvements would benefit companies, the economy and the environment, he added.

Previous studies of the M62 have heard about the vast amount of traffic that uses it - especially the trans-Pennine stretch above Huddersfield.

There have been suggestions in the past of widening the motorway to four lanes in each direction along the busier stretches.

The Yorkshire and Humber Assembly also wants to hear everybody's views on traffic management through the county's communities.

Assembly chairman Peter Box said freight was important everywhere, but particularly in Yorkshire.

"Here it not only serves the community but is a major part of the economy, with major international routes between Ireland, the UK and northern Europe," he added.

E-mail suggestions can be posted to freight@yhassembly.gov.uk