Motorcycles Getting In Bus Lanes

Motorcycles are being allowed to use bus lanes within the city of Plymouth.

Plymouth City Council says that this is an 18 month trial to see if motorcycle casualties can be reduced in the city.

The council has asked the question, how will we know if it is successful?

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.

The following are some tips on responsible riding in bus lanes.

  • Watch out for other road users especially pedestrians  and cyclists

  • Keep below the speed limit

  • Don’t weave in and out of the bus lane

  • Be especially careful when filtering

More information can be found in the leaflet How to be aware of the needs of bus lane users – File format Adobe Acrobat (pdf) – 545kb – information on responsible use of bus lanes for motorcyclists, bus and taxi drivers and cyclists.

Visit the website Here 


Road Safety Team
Dept. of Development
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA 

Phone: 01752 307730
Fax: 01752 304922  

Bus Lane Trials Extended in Birmingham

Birmingham says, “So that buses can get ahead of traffic queues, bus lanes are provided on many routes in the city. However as the amount of traffic in the city grows, road space is becoming increasingly valuable. We are now looking at ways to make more effective and efficient use of the roads – this can include opening up bus lanes to sustainable forms of transport other than buses, hackney carriages and pedal cycles.”

Before making a decision they are carrying out two trials, starting on Monday 26 November 2007, lasting for up to 18 months until June 2009:

  • Private Hire Vehicles (PHV) in bus lanes along New Town Row, Birchfield Road, and Walsall Road, and

  • Motorcycles or Powered Two Wheelers (PTW) along the A435 Moseley RoadAlcester Road, and Alcester Road South.

The trial for motorcycles in bus lanes uses the existing bus lanes by motorcycles along A435 Moseley Road, Alcester Road and Alcester Road South as shown on the map.

Birmingham says,” The bus lane road markings, time of operation and existing traffic sign positions will remain unchanged. However, the existing traffic signs will be replaced by new traffic signs which allow motorcycles to use the existing bus lanes????.” 

Birmingham couldn’t have put the use of motorcycles in a more constructive way, usage that MAG has been promoting for years, “Motorcycling can provide a shorter journey time in congested traffic conditions and overall congestion can be reduced as motorcycles generally occupy less road space than cars. Moreover, it is a cheaper alternative compared to car use which can provide independence and mobility.”  

“Motorcycles are already permitted to use the bus lanes on the 67 bus route on the A38 Tyburn Road and also on Corporation Street between Lancaster Circus and Dartmouth Circus. However, a previous assessment of the impacts, in particular safety, of allowing motorcycles to use the bus lanes was inconclusive and there is limited continuous monitoring data available.

Therefore a further trial allowing motorcycles in bus lanes is being undertaken. 

Detailed monitoring will be undertaken during the trial period, the results of which will be used to inform future Birmingham policy on bus lane use by other vehicles.”

Both of these schemes in Birmingham are being undertaken by Atkins on behalf of Birmingham City Council. If you have any queries or would like further information, please contact:  

Name: Belinda Cherry

Tel: 0121 483 5919

Full details of the Birmingham scheme can be found Here 

MAG Says! 

In March 2007 the Motorcycle Action Group welcomed the Government’s Traffic Advisory Leaflet in which it expressed support for facilitating motorcycling as a choice of travel within a safe and sustainable transport framework.  

The document lists all the positive points that MAG has repeatedly made about the advantages of motorcycling to society in general and now revises former guidance that was biased against the principle of access to bus lanes by motorcyclists. 

While final responsibility for bus lane access remains with local authorities, the shift in Central Government advice could prove critical in opening all bus lanes to motorcycles. 

Bikes in Bus Lanes – MAG Position Statement

View Traffic Advisory Leaflet 2/07 The Use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles Here (PDF 542kb) 

Issued by
Trevor Baird
General Secretary MAG UK
Tel: +44 (0)1788 570065
Fax: +44 (0)1788 570052

The UK’s Leading Riders’ Rights Organisation