motorcycles

Cherry Allan's picture

Motorbikes

Motorcyclists and cyclists have much in common, but motorcycling poses more risk to others and does not offer the same environmental benefits...
Cyclist and motorcyclist
Headline Messages: 
  • As vulnerable road users, cyclists and motorcyclists share much common ground.
  • However, CTC is concerned that cyclists and pedestrians are more at risk from motorcycles than they are from cars. We are also concerned about the impact that more motorcycling could have on the environment. 
  • We therefore support policies to improve motorcyclists’ safety but, given the need to restrain motor traffic in general, we do not support actions intended to increase the use of motorcycles, or those that might have this effect.
CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 
  • CTC recognises that motorcyclists and cyclists share a number of road safety problems, but is concerned that cyclists and pedestrians are more at risk from PTWs than they are from cars. 
  • National and local motorcycling policies should be informed by a comprehensive, Government-led assessment of the effects that a greater take-up of motorcycling might have. This should look at its impact on:
    • the safety (both actual and perceived) of (would-be) pedestrians and cyclists
    • the promotion and attractiveness of the cleaner, healthier, quieter and more sustainable alternatives of walking and cycling
    • the environment (pollutants and noise)
    • congestion 
  • PTWs should not be allowed in bus lanes, advanced stop lines (ASLs), vehicle-restricted areas or locations where pedal cycles enjoy exemptions from vehicle restrictions. This must necessarily apply to all PTWs, as larger, faster and more polluting machines make up the majority of the PTW fleet and it is not practical to provide traffic regulation benefits for the safest and cleanest machines alone.
Download full campaigns briefing: 
Publication Date: 
January 2014
Cherry Allan's picture

Motorcycles in bus lanes

For new and existing cyclists, being able to use bus lanes has a lot to offer. There's less traffic to negotiate and it also feels safer than riding outside the lane, between buses and general traffic.
Two cyclists in a bus lane
Headline Messages: 

For new and existing cyclists, being able to use bus lanes has a lot to offer. There's less traffic to negotiate and it also feels safer than riding outside the lane, between buses and general traffic.

CTC believes that allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes too undermines these benefits, because:

  • It encourages motorcycle riders to go faster – with worrying implications for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.
  • It could well make motorcycling more attractive. As pedestrians and cyclists are more likely to be injured by motorcycles than by cars in general, this is not good news.  
  • They make bus lanes more intimidating, especially for less confident cyclists.

We have therefore consistently objected to any proposals to permit motorcycles into bus lanes.

However, a number of authorities, including Transport for London, have experimented with the idea and subsequently allowed motorcycles to use bus lanes on a permanent basis.

London trials

Well-enforced bus lanes have been a much valued ‘safe haven’ for cyclists in London, doubtless helping to fuel the 150% growth of cycle use on major roads there since 2000.

Transport for London (TfL), however, decided to give motorcycles permanent access to bus lanes on the majority of red routes from 23 January 2012.  This followed two trials which, TfL states, reduced journey times for motorcyclists and resulted in less CO2. TfL also claimed that the trial did not affect the safety of motorcyclists and other vulnerable road users, something that both CTC and the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) disputes on the basis of data gathered by TfL itself.

CTC and the London Cycling Campaign (LCC) opposed both the experiments and the final decision.

 

CTC View (formal statement of CTC's policy): 

Motorbikes should not be allowed in bus lanes, advanced stop lines (ASLs), vehicle-restricted areas or locations where pedal cycles enjoy exemptions from vehicle restrictions. This must necessarily apply to all motorbikes, as larger, faster and more polluting machines make up the majority of the motorbike fleet and it is not practical to provide traffic regulation benefits for the safest and cleanest machines alone.

For more on CTC's views on motorbikes, see our Campaigns Briefing:

Powered Two Wheelers (PTWs)

Publication Date: 
March 2012
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  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Gordon Seabright
  • Cyclists' Touring Club (CTC): A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no.25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales No 1147607 and in Scotland No SC042541
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