Motorcyclists have permanent access to ‘red route’ bus lanes in central London from 23rd January 2012 and all road users are being urged to take extra care.
Transport for London (TfL) carried out two 18-month trials over a three year period and said that the scheme helped smooth traffic congestion, cut CO2 emissions, and improve journey times whilst the safety of motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users was unaffected.
The lack of impact on others is contradicted by data collected from the trials which shows an increase in motorcyclist deaths on ‘red route’ bus lanes from 1 death in the first trial to 7 in the second. There was also a sharp increase in accidents involving motorcyclists and cyclists, from 10 accidents on ‘red route’ bus lanes in the first trial to 25 in the second.
Cycle groups have strongly opposed and campaigned against the measure, claiming increased motorcycle speeds make bus lanes more dangerous for cyclists.
London Cycling Campaign (LCC), Chief executive Koy Thomson commented: "LCC said back in 2008 (before the trial started) that although we oppose the measure, we are not anti-motorist and we recognise the common cause of vulnerable road users, namely motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians, in improving road conditions.
"The trial, however, has failed to show reduced road danger and it's irresponsible to introduce a measure that undermines the mayor's casualty reduction targets."
Christalla Christodoulidou, a solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors’ Serious Injuries Team said: “This move flies in the face of the accident data from the trials. The fact is that there has been an increase in accidents and no safety benefits to motorcyclists. Now TfL has made this decision motorcyclists, cyclists and other road users need to take extra care in bus lanes in the future.”
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