MAG has launched a new campaign for default bus lane access for bikes

The Motorcycle Action Group’s new default bus lane access campaign seeks to make bus lane access uniform, and drop the current variability. 

"Bus Lane London" by ytulauratambien, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. Copy text

THE Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has launched a campaign for default bus lane access. 

The MAG’s campaign is backed by statistics which say that 48% of all ‘with-flow’ bus lanes in the UK are able to be used by motorcycles, and the Group says that “it is time for local authorities to stop debating and start delivering.”

MAG’s research report says that only 56 of 159 transport authorities in the UK with bus lanes allow motorcycles to use them. The report also lays out the reasoning for default bus lane access.

The variance in bus lane access for motorcycles between different local authorities, the report says, “has led to a confusing picture for motorcyclists who can have access to bus lanes on one part of a route only to cross an authority border and fall foul if continuing to access a bus lane on the same route.  The picture in London is even more chaotic where Transport for London (TfL) allow access on bus lanes managed by them, but many of the boroughs do not allow access on the lanes they manage.”

The author of the report, Colin Brown, said “This research has revealed the successes of three decades of campaigning by MAG on this issue. Given the complexity and stumbling blocks placed between a coherent national policy and a totally unnecessary exclusion of motorcycles from bus lanes, we have done well to gain access to 48% of the nation’s bus lanes.

“We have also shown the ludicrous situation where access permissions change along certain routes or in opposite directions on the same road.  We have had three decades of expensive local trials but the overwhelming result of all these is that motorcycle access to bus lanes is not a problem.  It is time for a consistent default access for motorcycles, just as already exists informally for pedal cycles.”

MAG also reports that there has been a petition raised by a Bimingham-based barrister, Dr. Mirza Ahmad, that would require all local authorities in England to permit motorcycles for use in bus lanes. The petition is currently at 5,532 (at time of writing) signatures. A petition requires 10,000 signatures to warrant a response from the government, and MAG is urging not just motorcyclists, but all road users to sign the petition.

In Northern Ireland, the Department for Infrastructure, MAG says, allows motorcycle access in all bus lanes, and MAG says it intends to approach “decision-makers” in Wales and Scotland to “promote the sensible approach taken in NI.”

Lead image courtesy of  ytulauratambien, licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. In-text image courtesy of Motorcycle Action Group.