Saturday, 1 November 2008

Bus Lanes in London

According to MCN, London Mayor Boris Johnson is planning to allow motorbikes to use bus lanes in London.

Starting from the 5th of January 2009, an 18th month trial run will start, and if the scheme is successful then the decision could be made permanent.

Cyclists are already allowed to use the lanes, and allowing motorbikes to do the same will hopefully reduce traffic and congestion in the city.

Across the rest of the country, bikes are already allowed to use the bus lanes in other cities. Boris Johnson said he has "long been staggered that while motorcyclists can use bus lanes in many other cities and some of our Boroughs they were not allowed to use the Transport for London red routes".

Boris Johnson is head of Transport for London and as a keen cyclist he says that "one of the ways we can ease congestion is by encouraging more people to get on their bike, whether pedal or powered".

Strong opposition

Even though the Mayor made the idea part of his manifesto, he has faced strong opposition from the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) who, according to BBC News, presented him with a 3,000 strong petition asking him to reconsider.

The previous Mayor, Ken Livingstone, decided against allowing motorcyclists to use bus lanes in March this year, after a report said there were no conclusive benefits.

However, he was later accused of doctoring the report to show a lack of conclusive support for the scheme, as MCN reported.

New Resident

Having recently moved to London from an area that is usually free from masses of traffic, it's a shock to suddenly find myself constantly on the clutch trying to to battle the congestion.

Not being able to use the bus lanes seems like a waste of a perfectly good bit of road. The area of London I live in has many bus lanes but a lack of buses, and allowing someone to use the lanes seems like a sensible idea.

However, head further into the centre of London and you find plenty of buses all happily taking up space in the bus lanes. Surely by using the lanes in these areas of the city you're not only disadvantaging those on the bus, but also yourself as you fight to pass busses.

The idea that motorcyclists will endanger cyclists, who are already allowed to use the lanes seems like an idea based on stereotypes. Surely the majority of bikers will respect cyclists, and not aim to knock them into the road?

1 comment:

Jophiel said...

haha, alright! :)