London Mayor lets motorcycles in bus lanes

Motorcycles will be allowed to use the majority of bus lanes on the capital’s red routes from 5 January next year 27 October 2008. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has delivered another key pledge of his election manifesto by announcing that motorcycles will be allowed to use the majority of bus lanes on the capital’s red routes from 5 January next year.

Motorcyclists will be able to share red route bus lanes with buses, cyclists and licensed black taxis on a trial basis for 18 months.

Five per cent of the roads in London are red routes, but they carry about a third of the city’s traffic. Red routes are easily identified because they have red instead of yellow lines.

A trial of the changes using experimental traffic orders is the quickest way of implementing this type of measure and if the Mayor sees the positive effects he expects then the move will be made permanent.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Londoners know that I am determined to make it easier for them to get from A to B in our great city. And I have long been staggered that while motorcyclists can use bus lanes in many other cities and some of our Boroughs they were not allowed to use the Transport for London red routes that crisscross the capital.

“One of the ways we can ease congestion is by encouraging more people to get on their bike, whether pedal or powered, and I believe they should be able to share our bus lanes successfully and safely. At the end of the trial period I will listen carefully to the views of all our road users and then make a decision about whether this should be a permanent arrangement.”

The change will only apply to TfL bus lanes that operate with the flow of traffic, and motorcyclists are advised to familiarise themselves with the bus lanes open to them as well as checking the signs before entering any bus lanes. There is more information about the bus lanes affected and how to make representations about the scheme at

David Brown, Transport for London’s Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “The success of this trial will be gauged by measures including the safety of road users. We will take formal representations about the trial during its first six months of operation and carefully monitor any impacts this change has on other road users over the year and a half trial.”

Any unauthorised entry to a bus lane could result in a Penalty Charge Notice of £120 from TfL or other local authority.

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