Despite reports to the contrary, the BMF is still hopeful that the final version of the Transport for London report on the use of London's bus lanes by motorcycles will make a positive contribution to the debate over motorcycle access.
Transport for London (TfL) have been conducting monitored motorcycle access trials on three trial sites; the A41 to the North, A23 to the South and A13 to the East, since 2002, but a draft version of an executive summary for their report, issued last September, suggested that the final conclusion might be that the results of the trial would be inconclusive. However TfL have appointed a motorcyclist, Tom Duckham, as Head of Motorcycling (also Project Manager for the London 'Safety' Camera Partnership), to review the report.
The BMF welcomes the fact that TfL have accepted that motorcycling might not have been treated equitably in that TfL initially tried using an overly complex system of assessment to compare collisions with those on the rest of the Transport for London Roads Network. The numbers involved were small and therefore the statistical significance doubtful. Also, the effect of increased concentrated motorcycle traffic migrating from other routes (where motorcycle numbers had therefore been reduced), had not been considered and neither were the actual causes of collisions taken into account.
In trials carried out by Kingston and Westminster, Kingston had little negative feedback whereas Westminster had positive indications of casualty reductions, despite the trial only been operative for 9 months.
Commenting, BMF Senior Government Relations Executive Trevor Magner said:
"The draft report on the monitoring was disappointing but not surprising given the overly complex assessment and methodology used. Since assessment solely on the basis of safety remains inconclusive, greater consideration of the effect on traffic efficiency and the benefits of increased motorcycle use should be given and we're pleased that TfL now appears to be addressing the concerns of the motorcycling community and we hope that the review may result in a more positive outcome for motorcycling."