Bus Lane Trial Extended, Even Though Bikers Crash More

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 103 months ago
Bus Lane Trial Extended, Even Though Bikers Crash More

Photo by quadriman from the Londonist Flickr pool
A couple of weeks after Boris lost his temper and threatened to end the trial of motorcyclists allowed in bus lanes, TfL have announced they're extending it - despite an independent study showing accidents actually increased. A Transport for London Road Network study compared 28 trial sites with 28 other sites on parallel routes with no bus lanes, and found that collisions between bikers (not cyclists) and other vehicles were more likely in a bus lane. It seems as though motorcyclists are more likely to break the speed limit in bus lanes, and more likely to hit other vehicles turning in and out of side roads.

TfL's response is to focus on improving driver awareness of bikers (but that campaign's already been running for ages, hasn't it?), update BikeSafe training and enforce speed limits more strictly. We find it a little strange that they're diving straight into a new trial (the current one ends 5th July and although the new one starts around 16th July, for 18 months, motorcyclists won't be penalised for carrying on as they have been) without a pause to look into this more thoroughly. These are real accidents with people's lives and limbs at risk. Jenny Jones points out this is the "first rise in the number of collisions involving motorcycles for eight years", while Val Shawcross accuses Boris of "re-running [the experiment] in the hope he gets the result he wants".

Boris himself just says:

"The chaos that was predicted by some doomsayers has clearly not materialised... There is always scope for improvement and a new trial, with a strong focus on safety, will allow motorcyclists to show that they can adhere to the spirit of the trial and ride with respect."

Other news from the trial is that average journey times decreased, but we reckon that's only a good thing if everyone gets there safely.

Last Updated 17 June 2010