Motorcycles to use bus lanes as all-day bus-lanes scrapped
The Edinburgh Evening News reports that: "Restrictions on a third of bus lanes are set to be relaxed in a bid to keep traffic moving and clear up confusion surrounding the city’s complicated greenway rules." They explain that all-day bus lanes will be scrapped, bringing 90 % into sync.
The decision sees motorcycles given permission to use bus lanes 24 hours a day. Transport bosses believe the changes will improve safety for motorcyclists, cut pollution and help ease traffic congestion. Motorcyclists will join cyclists, buses and black cabs in using all bus lanes throughout the day.
"The move is designed to encourage drivers who shun the lanes entirely for fear of being fined to use them at off-peak times," says the paper, adding that the move will mean that drivers needn't worry about incurring fines outside rush hour.
A two-month survey earlier this year found that there was “little additional operational benefit” to having bus lanes closed to drivers throughout the day, and that drivers were often left scratching their heads at the variety of different rules for greenways. The council is expected to approve a nine-month trial of the plans, to begin in June next year, with the option of a further nine months, at its transport committee on Tuesday.
The BMF's Ken Glendinning said: “To hear that the trial is likely to be approved is absolutely fantastic. “The number of people who are using scooters to get around town has risen considerably. It’s becoming quite a lot cheaper for people to use two-wheeled transport these days. When you think about it for a few seconds, it’s a no-brainer that it’s safer for motorcycles to use bus lanes. Bus lanes are relatively quiet, and it makes a lot of sense for two-wheeled vehicles of all sorts, whether they’re cyclists or motorcyclists to actually be able to use them.
“There’s the added advantage that a bus is never going to get stuck behind a scooter or a motorcycle, whereas getting stuck behind a cyclist does slow a bus down.”
He said: “What people actually found [from trials in London and Bristol] was that more two-wheeled vehicles in bus lanes actually raises the profile, and the number of pedestrians being knocked down in bus lanes actually reduced.The rate in the London trial dropped considerably. It made a huge difference.”