Seizing the opportunity to strike while the issue is still hot, the British Motorcyclists Federation have written to new London Mayor, Boris Johnson, asking for a date when motorcycles will be allowed into London's bus lanes.
This follows meetings in February between the BMF and Mr Johnson and his team when Mr Johnson said that: "Allowing motorcycles into bus lanes would ease congestion and increase traffic speed. I want to encourage people to get out of their cars and use other forms of transport but we must make it easier for them to do so. I want to get London moving and this is one of a raft of initiatives that I will take."
In writing to the Mayor, the BMF's Government Relations Executive Chris Hodder pointed out that bus lane access for motorcyclists was as much a safety issue as one of easing congestion and it was not just on the Transport for London Road Network, but across London as a whole that the BMF were looking for access.
Commenting Chris said: "If we expect to "keep London moving", we have said that it's necessary for the public to be facilitated in choosing two-wheeled transport as opposed to single-occupancy car use. This means that we need to make it safer by using bus lanes and also increase the number of places where commuters and shoppers can safely keep their motorcycles."
With a view to wider implementation of bus lane access schemes across the UK, Chris Hodder also reminded Mr Johnson of his commitment to publish the favourable but suppressed 2007 Transport for London report on bus lane access and retract the previous Mayor's 'doctored' version of February 2008.
Also raised was the need to increase the amount of free, secure motorcycle parking across London. Despite being part of the previous Mayor's commitments, motorcycle parking had only been delivered in a 'fragmentary and erratic fashion' said Chris.
Note 1: In March 2007 the Government issued a new Traffic Advisory Leaflet (TAL02/07) to Local Authorities that specifically encouraged a more objective assessment to be made of bus lane use by motorcycles.
Note 2: Existing Bus lane access sites: Bristol has operated a permanent bus lane access since 1996 and Reading since 1999. Other sites are in: Northern Ireland, Birmingham, Colchester, Derby, Bath, Hull, Swindon, Richmond on Thames, Newcastle on Tyne, Sunderland and the M4 bus lane. Still being trialled in London are the Finchley Road (A41) at St John's Wood to Hampstead, the A23 to the South and A13 to the East.More Articles by British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) ...