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Bikers In Bus Lanes

Following the completion of many trials across the country, several cities are now allowing motorcycles, scooters and mopeds to use bus lanes. In some areas this is still classed as a trial period which will run up to 18 months depending on the area, but some cities have already made it a permanent scheme.

Although this is expected to reduce commute times and, more importantly, reduce motorcycling injuries (particularly in filtering cases), three wheelers or motorcycles with side cars are not permitted to use the bus lanes.
Authorities have suggested that in order for the scheme to become permanent it must not increase the number of injuries for bikers or any other road users, it must reduce congestion and there must be no significant increase in speed from bikers.
Although there are plenty of good things to come of this scheme, it can expose bikers to other dangers. Here are Sorrymate.com’s top tips to keep you safe:
  • Do not cross solid white lines. This is the case on all roads, but they are more frequent in bus lanes so you must take extra care not to enter or exit the lane through solid lines.
  • Beware of pedestrians. Pedestrians are aware that bus lanes are usually quieter than other lanes of traffic and also may only be looking out for busses so be careful and use your horn to warn them.
  • Don’t overtake other motorcyclists. Bikers may have to use the entire lane to avoid hazards (such as pedestrians stepping off the curb without looking), so avoid overtaking them in case they have to move out.
  • Watch your speed. As stated, the scheme will not be a success if there are notable speed increases among bikers, so be sensible with your speed. In many cases, because of the increased dangers in bus lanes it may be appropriate to travel a little slower than the limit.
  • Look out for cars moving across the bus lane. Cars often need to cross bus lanes to get into other lanes at junctions, so beware of this.
  • Bus lanes are not just for bikers. Cyclists, taxis and obviously busses will also be using this lane, so share the road appropriately and keep an eye on other road users, as you can’t be sure they have an eye on you.
City Councillors, MPs and local Motorcycle Action Groups have approved the scheme, but please ensure that you check your local government website for details, as your town or city may not have entered the trial period yet.
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