News

12-03-2008 Gerrymandering ? No Bikes in Bus Lanes

Issued 12th March 2008

The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG UK) condemns today's announcement by London Mayor Ken Livingstone that motorcycles would not be permitted to use bus lanes on roads controlled by Transport for London.

In a report published today, Transport for London rely on the Tanner Test to 'prove' that there would be no safety benefit to either motorcyclists or other vulnerable road users if motorcycles were allowed to use Transport for London bus lanes. This same Tanner Test was described in internal documents, leaked to MAG, as unreliable and incapable of delivering sound statistical analysis.

The published report is strikingly similar to a much discredited early draft, published in October 2006, that was withdrawn by TfL. A more comprehensive report, prepared in April 2007, demonstrated that there would be clear safety benefits for all vulnerable road users, and not just motorcyclists, if motorcycles were allowed to use bus lanes. This report was suppressed by TfL, although a copy has been seen by members of the Motorcycle Action Group.

Motorcycles are permitted to use bus lanes in Bristol, Reading, Swindon, Hull, Northern Ireland and many other towns and cities in the UK with no perceived problems.

Greater London Regional Representative, Gerard Livett, said: "The report finally published today contains the same woeful statistical analysis as the one that was rejected by TfL in October 2006. A more comprehensive analysis of the data, which was never officially published, clearly demonstrated that there would be safety benefits for all vulnerable road users if motorcycles were permitted to use bus lanes."

"Successful trials from elsewhere in the country demonstrate that motorcycles and bicycles can share bus lanes safely. In this regard, London would appear to be lagging behind the rest of the country and not leading the way forward."

"The timing of this report, and the nature of the contents, would appear to be a form of gerrymandering (political manipulation) aimed at securing the votes of cyclists at the expense of motorcycle safety and motorcyclists lives."

Ends

Notes for Editors

1. The report can be found at http://www.london.gov.uk/mayor/transport/streets.jsp#p2ws  

2. Greater London Region Contact:

Gerard Livett

Tel: 0870 774 3557
Email: greater-london-region@mag-uk.org

Website: http://greater-london.mag-uk.org 

3. Trial Routes:

A13 East India Dock Road, between Leamouth Road and Butcher Row East;

A23 Brixton Road, between Camberwell New Road and Streatham Common South;

A41 Finchley Road, between Queen's Grove North and Platt's Lane.

Two sites were also chosen as control routes, to determine the relative changes in safety of the trial, as follows:

A5 Rondu Road to Summit Close and Humber Road to Staples Corner;

A10 Pasteur Gardens to Ostliffe Road and Wilbury Way to Laburnum Avenue.

Motorcycles will continue to be allowed in the bus lanes in which they are already granted access.

But Transport for London will not be extending the access to any further bus lanes under its control.

Issued by

Trevor Baird
General Secretary (MAG UK)

MAG UK
PO BOX 750
Rugby
CV21 3ZR

Tel: +44 (0)1788 570065
Fax: +44 (0)1788 570052

Email: general-secretary@mag-uk.org

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