The British Motorcyclists Federation have welcomed London Mayor Boris Johnson's decision to ask Transport for London to allow motorcycles into London's bus lanes before the end of the year.
His decision was one of many following Transport for London's (TfL's) Sixth Annual Impacts Monitoring Report on congestion charging in the capital and also meets with his pre-election commitment to encourage people out of their cars.
Revealing that 70,000 fewer cars enter the original congestion zone each day compared to pre-charging levels, and 30,000 fewer cars enter the western extension, the report nevertheless says that dues to utility and construction works, congestion is still a major problem.
On motorcycles, in a meeting with the BMF back in February, Mr Johnson said then 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."
Welcoming Mayor Johnson's decision, the BMF's Government Relations Executive Chris Hodder said: "We're pleased that years of steady and persistent campaigning has at last borne fruit. A TfL report proved the safety benefits of motorcycles using bus lanes and we're very pleased that Mr Johnson has stuck by his words in wishing to get London moving. Now we just need more parking spaces!"
It is expected that the first bus lanes will open later this year.
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, Sheffield, 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.
Issued by Jeff Stone: t: +44 (0)121 709 1040 f: +44 (0)121 705 8784 e: firstname.lastname@example.org
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