Boris Johnson Backs Motorcycle Use In Bus Lanes

Launching a scheme to allow motorcyclists to use bus lanes in London when he becomes Mayor, the Conservative Candidate, Boris Johnson MP said:

“The Mayor’s own report says this is safer. It will reduce congestion and also cut pollution. I want to encourage people to get out of their cars and use other forms of transport and this will make it easier for them to do so. I have studied this report and, as a cyclist myself, I think this is a no brainer.”

TfL report

A comprehensive report by TfL showed that there would be fewer accidents if motorcycles were allowed to ride in bus lanes. However, the Mayor has refused to release the report, and leaked emails show his office has actively tried to interfere with the findings. Not only is this deceiving Londoners with motorcycles, but it is a cynical refusal in an election year to implement a measure that could both cut congestion and save lives.

Cities throughout Europe and across the UK have allowed motorcycles to use bus lanes in order to relieve congestion. Increasing the number of motorcycles has been highlighted by the DfT as part of their nationwide strategy to tackle congestion and emissions. Some of the many benefits are as follows:

  • Reduced congestion

  • Easy parking

  • Reduced emissions

  • Shorter Journey times

Protecting Cyclists

The evidence of the report certainly suggests that allowing motorcycles in bus lanes both reduces motorcycle casualties and collisions with cyclists. In Bristol motorcycles have been allowed in bus lanes since 1996, while in Reading they have been permitted since 1999. By contrast, at the end of 2005 15 bus lanes in London were legal for motorcyclists to use.

In Plymouth, an 18 month trial of motorcycles entering bus lanes is currently underway. The advice they give sums up how this measure can be safely introduced:

“Motorcyclists themselves are the key to the success of the trial. The trial will depend on motorcyclists acting responsibly in order to keep themselves and other road users safe.”