The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is today launching a new campaign for default bus lane access. New research shows that motorcycles can currently use 48% of all ‘with-flow’ bus lanes in the UK. MAG say it is time for local authorities to stop debating and start delivering.
MAG has released a new report that for the first time collates UK-wide information on motorcycle access in bus lanes. The report shows that of the 159 local transport authorities with bus lanes, just 56 allow motorcycle access.
Report author Colin Brown said:
“This research has revealed the successes of three decades of campaigning by MAG on this issue. Given the complexity and stumbling blocks placed between a coherent national policy and a totally unnecessary exclusion of motorcycles from bus lanes, we have done well to gain access to 48% of the nation’s bus lanes. We have also shown the ludicrous situation where access permissions change along certain routes or in opposite directions on the same road. We have had three decades of expensive local trials but the overwhelming result of all these is that motorcycle access to bus lanes is not a problem. It is time for a consistent default access for motorcycles, just as already exists informally for pedal cycles.”
A petition has been raised by Birmingham-based barrister Dr Mirza Ahmad asking the Government to require local authorities in England to permit motorcycles in bus lanes. MAG is asking motorcyclists – and indeed all road users – to sign the petition.
Firstly, MAG is calling for a further meeting with Roads Minister, Baroness Vere of Norbiton. The Minister previously asked MAG to list its top five priorities. Bus lane access was the issue that MAG members voted as their first ask.
MAG will then approach decision-makers in Wales and Scotland to promote the sensible approach taken in Northern Ireland. The Department for Infrastructure allows motorcycle access in all bus lanes in NI.
Finally, MAG has vowed to redouble efforts with key authorities that still do not allow access. MAG is already pushing for meetings with Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester, as well as discussing with Transport for London (TfL) how best to get London Boroughs to accept a common policy.
Colin Brown said:
“Even Sadiq Khan agrees that all London boroughs should allow motorcycle access. TfL adopted a blanket policy on all red routes, but many boroughs are still opposed to motorcycle access. If we can get Glasgow, Manchester, Nottingham and Leicester on board that would be another 60 miles of access. Of course, if these councils are smart, they will back our calls for default access as this would save them money and there would be no argument for yet more trials.”
Motorcycle Access to Bus Lanes: UK Stocktake 2022. Access the report here: https://wiki.mag-uk.org/images/6/65/Bus_Lane_Stocktake_2022.pdf
The petition raised by Dr Mirza Ahmad can be found here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/614294