The IAM has warned motorcyclists and pedal cyclists to take extra care when Transport for London’s (TfL) decision to allow motorcyclists to use bus lanes on a permanent basis comes into force on 23 January.
IAM says that while motorcyclists’ using bus lanes will help ease congestion and reduce CO2 emissions, studies by Ealing Council and TfL show a significant increase in motorcycle collision rates and severity. TfL’s review also found that there was an increase in pedal cycle accidents of 173%, even when the increase in the number of people cycling was taken into account.
The TfL trial on 418 sections of road in London recorded direct collisions between motorcycles and pedal cycles. Although there were no direct collisions between motorcycles and pedal cycles in Ealing, the council is concerned that pedal cyclists are reacting to the presence of motorcycles in bus lanes by travelling nearer to the kerb than before, making them less visible to vehicles turning across their path.
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, said: “This change will improve congestion and journey times for motorcyclists, and responsible bikers should find it safer being in a bus lane. Safer motorcycling in busy cities will encourage more moped and motorcycle use which can only be a good thing for traffic flow. But the evidence does show two of the most vulnerable road user groups – motorcyclists and cyclists – will be at more risk.”
For more information contact the IAM press office on 020 8996 9777.