London making motorcycling safer

A new plan to improve safety for motorcycles in UK capital London will see motorbikes allowed to use the majority of the city’s bus lanes. An 18-month trial period will commence from the 5th January and Transport for London (TfL) has said the move is intended to cut accident rates and traffic in the capital. The proposals have been criticised by some cyclists and cycling groups who claim the move will neither address congestion nor boost safety. However a comprehensive report based on experience gained from trials allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes on some key routes into London show that safety for motorcyclists can be improved greatly and at no cost to pedal cyclists. The earlier trials have also shown that allowing motorcycles into bus lanes helps reduce congestion at key traffic bottlenecks. The new rules will only apply to TfL bus lanes so motorcyclists are being advised to make sure they know which lanes are available to them.

The move is of considerably wider importance internationally as London’s traffic issues and TfL’s approach to reducing congestion have been monitored worldwide by other major cities. The congestion charge scheme introduced in London has since been considered by other large cities including New York, Chicago, Milan and Auckland. As the tackling of London’s traffic problems has been so widely monitored internationally, allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes in London could result in similar moves being introduced in other major cities around the world, with a resulting boost for rider safety and an anticipated fall in serious injuries and fatalities as a result.

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