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London Bus Lanes New Year Resolution Welcomed

10 January 2012

London Bus Lanes New Year Resolution Welcomed

 It’s been a long wait but Transport for London’s decision to give motorcycles permanent access to bus lanes on the majority of the Capital's red routes from the 23rd of this month has been welcomed by the British Motorcyclists Federation.

Coming after the conclusion of numerous trials that first started in 2002, Transport for London (TfL) say that while the safety of motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users has proved to be unaffected, the opening up of bus lanes helps to reduce journey times for motorcyclists, reduces carbon dioxide emissions and achieves a key strand in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy. 

The BMF, as a long term campaigner for the use of bus lanes by motorcyclists,* say that despite London’s years of reports and investigations, the TfL decision only bears out what Bristol had decided sixteen years ago when after a two year trial they formally opened up their bus lanes to motorcycles on a permanent basis way back in 1996.

Several other towns and cities followed and in 2007 the Government issued a Traffic Advisory Leaflet (TAL02/07) to Local Authorities that specifically encouraged a more objective assessment to be made of bus lane use by motorcycles. 

In February 2008 the BMF met with the then mayoral candidate Boris Johnston to discuss bus lane access. He said that if elected he would want to see bus lanes opened up to motorcycles, a commitment that the BMF is pleased to see he has kept. 

While welcoming the move, the BMF is still concerned that these bus lanes are only those on routes controlled by TfL, i.e. the Transport for London Route Network (TLRN) ‘red routes’ such as the main A1 and A4 thoroughfares. Nevertheless the BMF sees TfL’s decision as a key one in helping to persuade other authorities to open up their bus lanes without further trails.

 The TfL announcement, report and route maps can be found at:  

*Note: Bus Lane use by motorcycles is already successfully employed in numerous European cities while in the UK bus lane access has been allowed in Bristol since 1996 and Reading since 1999. Other bus lane sites are in: Northern Ireland, Birmingham, Colchester, Derby, Bath, Hull, Swindon, Richmond on Thames, Newcastle on Tyne, Sunderland and Plymouth.


Issued by Jeff Stone:  t: 0121 709 1040 m: 07802 763094 e:

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