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Motorcycle and cycle collisions down 40% in bus lane trial

Published: 03 December 2009

Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after they began sharing London’s bus lanes, according to a report by the capital’s transport authority.

The Transport for London (TfL) study, which was leaked to MCN ahead of publication, examined casualties during the first four months of the 18-month London trial which began in January.

It found there were just three collisions between cycles and motorcycles on the bus lane routes compared to five during the same period the previous year.

Motorcycle and pedestrian collisions stayed the same, at 16 before and after.

The total number of collisions for all road users was also not significantly different, according to the report, with 369 before and 374 after.  

The findings do not support predictions from cycle and pedestrian groups that the measure would be bad for their safety.

But interestingly they also don’t indicate a benefit to our safety, with total collisions involving motorcycles rising from 109 before to 124 after.

However the report says the data is inconclusive due the short period covered, adding: ‘It is also not possible to assess whether the collisions occurred in the bus lane or the main carriage way.’

The British Motorcyclists Federation’s Chris Hodder said: “There was a fall in collisions for all road users in an earlier, smaller London trial, so there’s no reason these results should be any different.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, cycle and pedestrian campaigners were unconvinced.

Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy manager for national cycling group CTC, said: “In the light of the report I’ll be asking TfL searching questions about the methodology.”

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of pedestrian group Living Streets, said: “We still have concerns about motorcyclists being in bus lanes and worry that their presence may impact on more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians…

"This is just an interim report and we look forward to the full results of the trial when the 18 months is over – which we will scrutinise closely to ensure that pedestrians have not been adversely affected in any way.”

See the full leaked report here

For a special MCN investigation revealing how TfL withheld the report from motorcycle groups while inviting cycle and pedestrian groups to comment on it, get next week’s paper, on sale December 9.

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