Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, says he will not allow motorcycles to use bus lanes
Motorcycles in Bus lanes report released
12 March 2008 14:39
Transport for London has released a version of its motorcycles in bus lanes report.
But the newly released version has been altered compared to earlier leaked documents to remove suggestions that allowing bikes in bus lanes improves safety for all road users.
See the release from the London Assembly below.
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, today said that he would not be changing the rules of London’s major roads to allow motorbikes to ride in bus lanes.
His decision follows the publication of a report into a trial, which has provided no clear evidence of safety benefits to motorcyclists and potential disbenefits to pedestrians and cyclists.
The report published today is the definitive analysis.
Transport for London's Road Safety Unit utilised a robust analysis of the data, known as the “Tanner Test”. This analysed the safety effects of allowing motorcyclists in bus lanes by combining accident data from a number of sites.
It showed no clear evidence of safety benefits to motorcyclists and potential disbenefits to pedestrians and cyclists.
An earlier draft was wrongly claimed by some groups to show significant safety benefits to motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists. In fact, in this draft report a methodology was applied to the trial data that was flawed, providing a misleading set of safety statistics.
It utilised a flawed analysis based on a single day's traffic counts, which produced widely varying numbers on a year-by-year basis.
Between two years at the same location, the number of cyclists counted increased three and a half times before falling back to previous levels two years later. Such a fluctuation in data could, for instance, have been a result of weather conditions, rather than the impact of sharing road space with motorcyclists.
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said: “I am not opposed to the principle of allowing motorcycles in bus lanes if there is a clear safety benefit for all road users. However, I do not consider it appropriate to make a policy decision in such an important area when it is clear that the information used was not fit for purpose.
“The final published report shows that at present, the only robust aspect of the evidence is the Tanner Test, which shows only a very small safety benefit for motorcyclists against a larger disbenefit for other vulnerable road users. On this basis I do not propose to further allow motorcyclists to use bus lanes.
“Those who have advocated rushing though a change have clearly acted prematurely and irresponsibly. Such changes could have endangered the lives of cyclists and pedestrians.”
Transport for London Managing Director of Surface Transport, David Brown said: “The safety of all road users is a top priority for Transport for London. Our decisions must be based on clear evidence.
"Our record to date shows great success in cutting death and serious injury on London’s roads.
“The numbers of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads have fallen by 41 per cent since the mid to late 1990s. However, we've not seen the same kind of reduction amongst motorcyclists, where there's been a nine percent reduction over the same period.
“We undertook this trial to see if we could improve road safety for all road users, including pedestrians and cyclists. The results to date do not support a change in policy in this area.
"However, we continue to work hard to improve road safety for this vulnerable group of road users, both through our bike safe programme and through our hard-hitting road safety advertising campaigns.”
Transport for London this month launched a new TV ad campaign aimed at cutting the numbers of motorcyclists killed and injured on London’s roads.
Transport for London continues to investigate ways to further tackle this important issue.