Support default motorcycle access to all bus lanes to make your ride to work better. Consistent bus lane policy is good bus lane policy
It shouldn’t be hard to figure out why consistency is a key to good transport policy. Last time I checked people travel to get somewhere else. If the rules are different everywhere else it is harder to understand what you can and cannot do. Then road users who are uncertain of the rules make mistakes. Mistakes lead to mishaps.
Can you imagine a world daft enough to allow inconsistent policy on the direction of travel around roundabouts? No, nor can I. So why do transport planners think that inconsistency is sensible when it comes to bus lane access?
If you are a cyclist and you see a bus lane there really is no need to check a sign to see if you can use it. But if you are a motorcyclist checking signage for bus lanes is another distraction that you have to deal with. Cyclists don’t officially have default access to all bus lanes. MAG’s recent research into bus lanes did reveal a few bus lanes that do not allow pedal cyclists to use them. However, there is not a single case of an authority enforcing this with cyclists. Motorcyclists have access to 48% of the total length of bus lanes in the UK. Needless to say, enforcement in those lanes where motorcycle access is not permitted is fastidious.
When it comes to your commute to work there is a good chance that you will be travelling to areas that have bus lanes. When you can access those bus lanes your trip will be safer, quicker, produce less congestion and less emissions. In trial after trial across the country it is proven that these advantages all come without any hindrance to buses. The only reason for bus lanes to be introduced is to expedite buses, so what is the justification for restricting motorcycles in those lanes?
Three decades of campaigning
For over three decades MAG has been campaigning to win motorcycle access in bus lanes. Why then do we have a daft situation where the probability of being allowed access seems as close to a coin flip decision as you can get?
The problem is that every local transport authority (LTA) has the power to make its own decision on every single bus lane. They don’t even have a requirement to implement a consistent policy across all their bus lanes. For some reason every LTA seems to think that all previous trials carried out in other parts of the country do not address their particular concerns. So, they all decide that they need to run their own costly trial.
In order to change the permissions on any given bus lane the LTA needs to create a new Transport Regulation Order (TRO) and change the signage along the lane.
This is a costly process. We get it. Though to be fair if the common sense of allowing access to motorcycles had been applied from the start there would have been no additional cost.
But as they say – we are where we are.
The thing is we don’t need to stay where we are. We are calling for a sensible decision from the Department for Transport (DfT) to make motorcycle access the default position for all bus lanes. This would then require the LTA’s to spend money only if they wished to make the case to exclude motorcycles from their lanes. There should be no need to change any existing signage if there is new signage developed for lanes that expressly cannot be entered by motorcycles. There would be no need to change existing TRO’s if legislation overrides TROs where no explicit motorcycle prevention signage is in place.
We are seeking to discuss the nuts and bolts with the DfT, and your signature on the petition will help us to get that meeting scheduled.
Sign the Petition
You don’t need to ride a motorcycle to sign the petition. By signing you can save your council a lot of money. Remember, implementing this policy helps all road users. Less congestion and reduced emissions benefit everyone.
You don’t need to live somewhere with bus lanes to sign. Surely you will travel to an area with bus lanes sooner or later?
You can sign if the bus lanes in your area already allow motorcycle access. Again you will travel to other locations at some point.
So the message here is loud and clear – Sign the petition!
Can we make this the last Ride To Work Day with only limited motorcycle access to bus lanes?