Give motorcyclists default access to bus lanes, campaign urges

Image: MAG
A new campaign is calling for motorcycle riders to have default access to bus lanes.

Research published by the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), shows that riders can currently use 48% of all ‘with-flow’ bus lanes in the UK – the equivalent of 281 miles.

Additionally, the research finds that among the 208 local transport authorities in the UK, 159 (76%) operate with-flow bus lanes.

Of these 159, just 56 allow motorcycle access. 

Colin Brown, MAG’s director of campaigns and political engagement, authored the report.

He 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.

The organisation has also vowed to redouble efforts with key authorities that still do not allow access.  

MAG is pushing for meetings with authorities in 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 added: “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.”

26 May 2022

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