Motorcycles to be allowed permanent access to London’s bus lanes

22.00 | 26 December 2011 | | 1 comment

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that following two extensive trials, motorcycles will be able to drive in bus lanes on a permanent basis on the majority of the Capital’s Red Routes from 23 January 2012.

TfL says that the trials have shown "reduced journey times and environmental benefits with no significant safety issues thrown up for motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users".

Analysis from two 18 month trials has shown that allowing motorcyclists to use bus lanes is popular, with an estimated 50,000 journeys a day now being made by motorcyclists in the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) bus lanes.

An independent review of the second trial analysed a wide range of data to help understand the impact of the measures introduced following the first trial and collision rates (calculated by comparing the volume of journeys against the number of collisions).

Ben Plowden, TfL’s director of better routes and places, said: "The results of our latest trial show that the mayor’s policy of providing access to bus lanes along some of the busiest roads in London has delivered strong benefits for motorcyclists and in terms of improving the efficiency of the road network.

"The two trials have shown reduced journey times and environmental benefits with no significant safety issues thrown up for motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users. 

"The additional enforcement measures we introduced have also helped reduce average speeds for riders in bus lanes, delivering benefits for all road users in London. This is an important measure which has proved popular with motorcyclists across the Capital."

Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motor Cycle Industry Association said: ‘Industry strongly welcomes TfL’s decision. Allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes sends a clear message to road users that motorcycling helps to reduce commuter journey times, traffic congestion and CO2.

"Like cyclists, motorcycle users face vulnerabilities which bus lane use helps to mitigate and we support TfL’s recognition of motorcycling as part of the Mayor’s strategy to smooth traffic flow and reduce CO2."

Click here to read the full TfL news release.


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    Would it be possible to allow motorcycles in biker only areas on the road. I know that a lot of motorcyclists would not want to ride near to the pavement but it would be of benefit whilst taking a left hand turn and seeing as a lot, in fact the majority of cyclists, never use these areas but prefer to ride on the pavements and pedestrian precincts, even against local bye laws that are clearly held in disrepute by not only cyclists but also the local authorities and the police.

    Perhaps motorcyclists and scooter riders should be enabled to use the area in front of cars at traffic lights which were painted there at some expense for the use of cyclists only, but once again are not used. Unlike a cyclist who cannot ride off at a greater speed than a car and thus hold traffic up, a scooter could – thus being less dangerous to the scooterist.

    bob craven
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