Time flies. Some 18 months ago, the City of London opened up its bus lanes as a trial effort to see if congestion could be safely reduced with little impact to the rest of society. That trial period is set to come to an end on July 5th, and many British motorcyclists are urging the government to keep the program alive.
The Motor Cycle Industry Association in the UK has called on the city's Mayor and Transport for London to make keep the bus lanes open to motorcycles permanently. Says Steve Kenward, MCI's Acting CEO:
Late last year, a report concluded that motorcycle traffic in bus lanes improved traffic patterns while having next to no impact on buses or bicyclists. In fact, a majority of cyclists had no problem with sharing their space with motorcyclists. As such, Kenward concludes:Given that the July deadline is now quite close, we are surprised that the Mayor has been silent about the future of the initiative. We feel that it is important to point out that allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes is a positive step towards improving transport accessibility for London citizens and in demonstrating the positive effect that motorcycling has in reducing traffic congestion and CO2 levels.
It is now down to the Mayor and Transport for London to demonstrate that they are willing to apply a fair hand in how they regard the future of the scheme and focus on motorcycle safety education, awareness and positive 'bill board' publicity in the same way that they do for cycling – anything else would be both grossly unfair and demonstrate unjustifiable bias against motorcycling.