The MCI is challenging policymakers and transport experts who claim that
allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes will lead to safety problems for
motorcycle riders and other users of bus lanes.
Several UK Local Authorities, including Bristol, already allow
motorcycles to use bus lanes. In response to a growing demand for bikers
to use bus lanes in the capital, Transport for London has been running
three fully monitored experiments on key bus lanes in London.
When completed next year, the experiment will have run for three years
and interim reports into the effect of allowing bikes in bus lanes has
drawn mixed reviews depending on who has commented on the results.
Those who oppose the use of bus lanes by motorcycles have seized on
aspects of the data to support a case against motorcycles, with a new
mythology about the safety aspects of the scheme emerging. In July, an
answer to a Parliamentary Question by the Minister Karen Buck contended
that the number of accidents involving motorcycles into bus lanes in the
experimental scheme had increased.
However, a British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) analysis of the
interim report challenges this new mythology by looking at external
factors which have affected the experimental scheme. This reveals that
extensive road works on the A13 portion of the experiment has affected
the data, which if readjusted to take this into account reveals that
allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes in the experimental areas has led
to a 19.5% fall in motorcycle accidents.
MCI's Director of Public Affairs, Craig Carey-Clinch said; "Other bus
lanes schemes around the country have demonstrated the advantages of
allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes as a way of easing accessibility
and reducing vulnerability for motorcycle riders - without increasing
the number of accidents.
"Unfortunately, biking still suffers from a committed band of
individuals and organisations who perpetuate the myth that bikes in bus
lanes are dangerous, with these people prepared to seize on any data to
support their argument, no matter how spurious.
"It is unfortunate that the Minister Karen Buck did not check the data
she was given to help answer a Parliamentary Question on the issue
before becoming an unwitting agent of the anti motorcycle brigade. We
expect far better from the Government, particularly as the Department
for Transport is to review its own guidance on the issue. We also await
with great interest the final report on the London experimental scheme."