Click above for a gallery of motorcyclists using London's red bus lanes
There are plenty of happy campers in London now that the city's bus lanes have been opened up to motorcyclists looking to ride safely while saving a little time and using a bit less fuel. To celebrate Transport for London's recent decision, a group consisting of local Honda motorcycle dealers, members of the Motorcycle Industry Association, the Institute of Advanced Motorists, the British Motorcyle Federation and the Metropolitan Police BikeSafe squad decided to take a first commemorative ride through the city, ending at the historic Ace Café in Wembley.
Pro-motorcycling groups have created a Code of Conduct that all cyclists are urged to follow while using the bus lanes. As it is, just 5 percent of London's roads are made up of red bus lanes, but the impact on the city's traffic should be much larger. It's hoped that if things go well over the 18-month trial period that the Mayor of London has instituted, other London boroughs may make similar allowances for bikers.
Honda Leads Motorcycle Industry Ride Out To Promote Opening of Bus Lanes for Bikes
London's red route bus lanes open to motorcyclists for commuter ease and safety
Honda (UK) today led a snow sprinkled ride out with a number of motorcycle industry partners and the London Mayor's Director for Transport Policy, Kulveer Ranger, to celebrate the opening of London's red route bus lanes for motorcyclists, following Transport for London's (TfL) announcement to allow motorcycles to use red route bus lanes for an 18-month trial period starting from today.
Local London motorcycle dealers and staff of Honda (UK) were joined by members from a number of key UK motorcycle industry partners including the MCIA (Motorcycle Industry Association), IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists), BMF (British Motorcyle Federation) the Metropolitan Police BikeSafe squad, as well as 'bike' and London based media. The ride took the large group along red route bus lanes across London from Horse Guards Avenue - opposite the London Eye - to the legendary motorcycle Ace Café in Wembley.
The ride further highlighted the benefits of two wheel commuting in the Capital and was also used to promote the MCIA's new Bus Lane 'Code of Conduct' for motorcyclists, developed in conjunction with the Metropolitan Police - ensuring responsible and considerate riding guidelines are circulated and adhered to amongst motorcyclists intending to use red route bus lanes.
Steve Martindale, General Manager of Honda (UK) Motorcycles commented, "The opening of red route bus lanes for motorcyclists in London is a welcomed decision by TfL, both for easing congestion in the Capital but also importantly, for improving road safety for motorcyclists and other road users. We hope that today's successful ride out inspires the wider motorcycle industry in the UK to further promote the safe use of bus lanes, and encourages more riders to use them, but with consideration, following the new 'Code of Conduct' guidelines."
Although red routes make up just 5% of London's roads, this move by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will significantly help cut congestion and keep the Capital moving and safer for all red route bus lane users.
Kulveer Ranger, The London Mayor's Director for Transport Policy commented: "The new code of practice shows that motorcyclists are taking this trial seriously and as a biker myself I will certainly pay heed to the advice it contains. This is about improving the way we use our road space and getting our traffic moving. It is something the Mayor committed to as part of his manifesto and a trial we are pleased to deliver. I am confident motorbikes will use the bus lanes in a responsible manner."
MCIA's Craig Carey-Clinch said: "Motorcycles in bus lanes is good news for road safety and will also help to improve accessibility for motorcyclists who travel to London. The results of the TfL study also showed that this initiative could further impact positively on the safety of other road users. However, it is crucial that motorcyclists use this new freedom responsibly and be ambassadors for biking. This is why MCIA is pleased to launch the new Code of Conduct with the support of Honda, the Met Police and other motorcycling organisations."
Whilst individual London boroughs will have the choice as to whether they open their bus lanes to motorcyclists, it is thought that the strong show of support and effectiveness of the intitiative will soon make it more widespread across the Capital.
The use of motorcycles for commuting can save time and money, is beneficial to the environment and now with the new red route bus lane initiative, is also a safer peak time transportation option. Motorcycles are also cheaper to run, can assist social inclusion (particularly outside large cities), do less damage to the roads and are versatile and convenient for users.*
The new 'Code of Conduct' for motorcyclists is available through the TfL's website, www.tfl.gov.uk, or, from the MCIA's website www.mcia.co.uk and also comes in both leaflet and business card format from local dealers.
For further information about Honda's great range of scooters and motorcycles call 0845 200 8000, visit www.honda.co.uk, or visit your local dealer. Honda motorcycle dealers can be located using the 'Dealer Search' facility within the motorcycles area of www.honda.co.uk, where you can also find all the latest news and information about offers, motorcycle safety, genuine parts and accessories and forthcoming events.