On Wednesday 21st of December TfL delivered an early Christmas gift to motorbike riders announcing that they’ll now be allowed permanent access to all bus lanes on TfL’s network.
The reason was quoted as the infamous: “Smoothing traffic flow” which as we’ve discovered recently, trumps all other transportation policies such as sustainability and safety.
According to TfL:
As part of the second trial, TfL increased enforcement of bus lanes on the TLRN through daily patrols by the Metropolitan Police Motorcycle Tasking Team. In line with this increased enforcement, the average speed for motorcyclists in bus lanes reduced by 6.5 per cent during the trial, with the proportion of motorcyclists exceeding the speed limit decreasing by one fifth (51 per cent in September 2010 down to 41 per cent in September 2011).
The number of motorcyclists giving little to no regard to the speed limit remains absurdly high at 41%. That was during increased enforcement.
According to TfL:
The trial was also supported by other road users, including 51 per cent of cyclists, and car / van drivers.
The figure of 51% is hardly one to brag about.
I’ve got absolutely nothing against motorbike riders and I believe as a group, two wheelers are always going to be more vulnerable. However, I believe motorbikes in bus lanes discourages new cyclists. It’s simply another danger we have to contend with and it creates a less pleasant environment for cycling.
What do you think? Leave a comment below..
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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.