Motorcyclists granted permanent access to London bus lanes

Our colleagues in MAG UK report that Motorcycles are to be given permanent access to London bus lanes from 23rd January 2012.

The announcement follows a protracted period of study including two eighteen month trials which demonstrated net benefits in terms of traffic flows, reduced journey times and reduced collision rates for both cyclists and motorcyclists.

In a statement announcing the moveTransport for London, the body responsible for overseeing the trials, said;

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.

Elsewhere, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI) in the UK, which represents the interests of the UK motorcycle trade also welcomed the move in a statement posted on their web site;

The MCI is delighted by Transport for London’s decision to give motorcyclists permanent access to bus lanes on the majority of the Capital’s red routes from 23 January 2012.
The MCI has been at the forefront of calls to continue to allow access throughout the completion of two trials which began back in June 2009 and has been working with TfL and other local authorities for over 15 years on the bikes in bus lanes issue.

This is great news for motorcycling and its ability to beat urban congestion, and it is hoped that TfL’s decision will encourage other metropolitan boroughs to follow their lead.

The announcement comes just weeks after the authorities in Northern Ireland announced that motorcyclists were to be granted further access to the bus lanes of Belfast. In England, a number of towns and cities including Birmingham, Reading, Bristol and Bath already allow motorcycles in bus lanes on a permanent basis.

Here at home, MAG Ireland made a detailed submission to the National Transport Authority some months ago on the issue of motorcycles in bus lanes, which you can read on pages 21 to 25 of this PDF document;

However, the National Transport Authority rejected MAG Ireland’s submission, saying that their strategy;

…does not support the use of bus lanes by motorbikes for reasons of cyclist and pedestrian safety and perceptions of safety.

MAG Ireland will be making further representations to the relevant Irish authorities on foot of the recent Belfast & London decisions as we continue to push for Irish riders to be granted the same access as their counterparts in Belfast, London and elsewhere.