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London Mayor Extends Motorcycle Access to Bus Lanes

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Mayor Boris Johnson has today announced he will continue to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes, operated by Transport for London (TfL), for the time being. Johnson observed, ' The chaos that was predicted by some doomsayers has clearly not materialized and, as I suspected would be the case, we have found substantial support for the measure."

An 18-month experiment was carried out to see if a permanent arrangement would improve road safety and the various studies reveled:

.       More than half (51 per cent) of motorcyclists switched from riding on the outside of the road to the bus lanes   

.       Fears of an increase in cyclist collisions with motorcyclists were unfounded  

.       Journeys made by motorcycles using bus lanes were, on average more than 10 per cent quicker than those not using bus lanes and 36 per cent quicker than cars

Rides are Voters (RAV) welcomed the news but warned that riders, TfL and other road users must all play their part in making bus lanes safe for riders everyone

The Mayor has done the right thing after taking this opportunity to look at the real causes of collisions. Once again it has been shown that allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes has created no greater risk for riders and other vulnerable road users.

"However, the findings seem to show that both motorcycle users and pedal-cyclists may be bearing the brunt of falling driving standards." said MAG General Secretary, Nich Brown

RAV supports TfL advice that drivers need to be sure they are not putting anyone at risk, especially when turning across bus-lanes at junctions. However, the group warned that simply relying on an appeal for better driving and enforcement of motorcycle speeding offences will not address the fundamental problem of poor junction design where collisions have increased.

Riders are Voters are calling on TfL to investigate low-cost improvements and new junction designs. Steve Kenward, CEO of the Motor Cycle Industry commented " This news of continued access to bus lanes is a positive step in the right direction.  Bus Lane access has worked well across the country and if TfL are willing to look at improving junction design on some of the busiest roads in the UK, then riders and other road users outside of the Capital will also benefit.."

Chris Hodder of the British Motorcyclists Federation (bmf) said. "Continued access to bus lanes for riders in London is fantastic news.  The comprehensive refutation of many of the claims of those opposed shows that arguments against allowing motorcycles into bus lanes are rapidly evaporating under close scrutiny.  Obviously there is still a problem with driver awareness, but we are pleased to see that the Mayor has decided to? address this with better advertising as a first step."

RAV has also called on the DfT to support the extension of motorcycle access to bus lanes everywhere. Nich Brown said:  "The efforts made by TfL to get things right should be supported by all local councils who operate bus lanes. In particular, those London boroughs who currently deny access for motorcycles should consider the adverse effect they are having on road safety by creating confusion and lack of consistency. Road safety will be maximised once all road users know to expect to see bikes legitimately using all bus lanes"

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