MAG warmly welcomes the Government announcement on bus lane access but wants more. Plans have been announced for “revised guidance to local authorities on allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes and hold a consultation about whether motorcycle access should be standard.” MAG is calling on the Department for Transport (DfT) to broaden the discussion in line with the wider policy direction.
The latest Department for Transport policy paper “The plan for drivers” was published on Monday 2nd October. One of the actions listed in the plan is to “refresh the technical advice, making it clear local authorities should use their powers to ensure bus lanes are open to motorcycles, and will launch a consultation on motorcycles using bus lanes as a default”
MAG has campaigned loudly for a consistent default access to bus lanes for many years. With 48% of all bus lanes allowing motorcycle access already, the time is overdue for a consistent national approach.
But whilst MAG is celebrating this apparent victory for motorcyclists, calls are being made to Ministers to broaden the consultation to cover motorcycle access to Advanced Stop Lines and through traffic filters and bus gates designed for traffic management. MAG has proven in Oxford that it is logical to allow motorcycles through traffic filters and want to see this taken forward as a broader policy as part of the claimed work to “restrain the most aggressively anti-driver traffic management measures”.
MAG’s Director of Campaigns & Political Engagement, Colin Brown, said:
“This does appear to be a great victory for motorcycling in the decades long fight to win riders universal access to bus lanes. We have fought long and hard to get to this point, but we will not be complacent. Mark Harper states that he wishes to restrain the most aggressive anti-driver management measures, but we have always stated that motorcycles are part of the solution. When motorcycles are given proper consideration in policy decisions this is widely accepted. We have evidence for this shown in the recent MAG victories in Oxford’s traffic filters and Cambridge’s proposed Sustainable Travel Zone. Motorcycles were exempted from both as the policy aim was to manage four-wheeled transport, not two.
I have written to the Minister asking for the opportunity to raise these points before the consultation is launched. We need a much broader scope of issues included in this discussion, not simply bus lane access.”