Watchdog warns of bus lane trial on 05/01/2009
London TravelWatch has raised concerns about confusion, safety and the lack of publicity surrounding the trial period for allowing motorcycles in bus lanes, which begins today, Monday 5 January.
London TravelWatch is concerned that the trial has not been publicised widely, which could lead to confusion for motorcyclists, as well as safety risks for pedestrians and cyclists, using bus lanes.
Sharon Grant, Chair, London TravelWatch, said: “This is a bold experiment, and we await the outcome with considerable interest, but we are apprehensive that the general public are not aware exactly what is and what isn’t allowed.”
The trial scheme allows motorcycles to use bus lanes on red routes only, which are operated by Transport for London (TfL) and only with the flow of traffic: not contraflow. Some boroughs - Westminster, Kingston and Richmond - already allow motorcycles to use bus lanes on the roads they control, but in other boroughs the bus lanes cannot be used.
Sharon Grant continued: “We are also concerned about the safety of cyclists, who already use bus lanes, as well as the safety of pedestrians crossing bus lanes on red routes or alighting: motorcyclists are often less visible than other users of the road, and travel at speed. The wider issue, however, is that the whole purpose of bus lanes - to provide a clear route for buses to remain reliable and frequent - is being undermined, now that taxis, cyclists and motorcyclists can use them.
“We would like to warn all pedestrians and cyclists to watch out for motorcycles; to warn all motorcyclists to check which bus lanes they are permitted to use and to ask TfL to ensure that the trial is publicised better.”
For more information, please contact Jo deBank in the London TravelWatch press office on 020 7726 9953 or out of hours on 07734 055494.
The voice of London's transport users
5 January 2009