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  • "PRESS RELEASE for immediate use

    Motorcyclists gain limited access to bus lanes
    in Brighton and Hove

    In The Argus of Saturday, November 17, it was reported that Brighton & Hove City Council has given the go-ahead to a limited trial allowing access – for powered two-wheeled vehicles (PTWs) – to two and a half miles of Brighton and Hove bus lanes (notably a one-mile stretch of the A23 from Carden Avenue to Preston Drove, Brighton, and a 1.5-mile section of the A259 coastal road from the city’s boundary in Saltdean to the Ovingdean roundabout).

    The Brighton branch of MAG (Motorcycle Action Group) welcomes this news, in so much as it is clear that the study Brighton & Hove Council undertook came up with the same conclusions as found elsewhere in other UK and major European cities; in particular Stockholm & Barcelona.

    To be precise, allowing PTWs into the bus lanes improves safety for the riders. As well as encouraging more people on to motorcycles and scooters, this will:
    – Address congestion by improving traffic flow and improve sustainable transport use
    – Enhance accessibility to the City centre
    – Improve air quality while lowering carbon emissions
    – Promote value for money
    – Make better use of the infrastructure and contribute to Brighton and Hove’s sustainable transport strategy

    Motorcycles and Scooters have been allowed access to bus lanes in Bristol for the past 17 years and in Reading for the past 14. Both of these locations are a similar size to Brighton and the schemes have proven to be a great success. Also, Birmingham, Bath, Hull, Plymouth, Peterborough, Colchester, Swindon, Derby, Central London (TfL Red Routes) and Bedford, to name a few, have granted PTWs access to bus lanes, as well as embraced motorcycling into their transport policies to help reduce travel time, congestion and to meet their emissions targets.

    In all of these locations, despite suggestions to the contrary, it has been demonstrated that there has been no detrimental effect to pedestrians or local bus services. Brighton MAG is pleased that Roger French, MD of Brighton & Hove Bus & Coach Company (on both BBC Radio Sussex and in a letter to MAG’s South East Rep, John Mitchell), has publicly supported this initiative (with one caveat – North Street in Brighton, which is already very congested with bus traffic), which reinforces the evidence that this scheme is not detrimental to local bus services.

    Despite all of the positive attributes of this decision, the limited extent of the trial seems to be at odds with the Council’s own Draft Road Safety Strategy 2010-2020, in which PTWs are named as a priority vulnerable group. Brighton MAG asks why there should not be a full roll-out across the city, given that the evidence in this country, and abroad, is that allowing 2-wheelers into bus lanes reduces accidents and injury?

    As such, Brighton MAG is keen to continue to have a dialogue with the Council, to understand the reasons for their decision. However, until the Council can release the study & the corresponding data to us to review, we are unable to draw our own conclusions.


    For more information:
    John Mitchell
    e. south-east-region@ma
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Motorcyclists get bus lane go-ahead

Motorcyclists get bus lane go-ahead

Motorcyclists get bus lane go-ahead

First published in News

Motorcyclists are to be allowed to use bus lanes – but only on two-and-a-half-miles of roads.

Brighton and Hove City Council has been in discussions with lobbyists about introducing the scheme for more than a year.

Advocates claim the plan for motorised, two-wheeled vehicles will reduce congestion, improve road safety and cut down on air pollution.

Despite some raising concerns about potential casualties, the local authority is to introduce a 12-month trial scheme on parts of two of the city’s busiest roads.

These would be a one-mile stretch of the A23 from Carden Avenue to Preston Drove, Brighton, and a 1.5- mile section of the A259 coastal road from the city’s boundary in Saltdean to the O v i n g d e a n roundabout.

Ian Davey, the chairman of the council’s transport committee, said: “Our prime concern with any scheme is safety for all road users and we have taken into account what other groups have said.

“If we decide to go ahead with this, the scheme will be closely monitored and the results will come back to the committee before any decision is made to introduce measures on a permanent basis.”

The issue will be discussed at a committee meeting on November 27.

The trial scheme would begin next summer with a public awareness campaign to inform all road users.

Other areas which have already introduced it include London, Derby and Reading.

Conservative councillor Tony Janio said he was “delighted” at the news adding he believed it could bring “massive benefits” to all road users.

But he said he had written to the committee requesting the trial be extended to include the city centre where he believed it could make a much bigger impact.

But Coun Davey said: “Actions speak louder than words – and the Tories did not act on motorcycles while they were in power up until only 18 months ago.”

Labour councillor Alan Robins said: “We will want to satisfy ourselves that road safety considerations are paramount before giving the go-ahead.”

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