Motorcyclists permitted to use selected bus lanes

An experimental scheme introduced in June 2004 allowing motorcycles to use certain bus lanes in Northern Ireland will now be made permanent.

The initiative, which aims to lower the collision risk for motorcyclists and improve use of road space, follows a decision taken on 5 June 2002 which permitted certain taxis to use some bus lanes. Monitoring of bus lane operations since that date has shown no significant impact on the provision of bus services or the safety of other road users.

The Department for Regional Development's Roads Service considered eight objections raised by members of the public before deciding to proceed with making the scheme permanent. However, Roads Service has undertaken to review the operation of the scheme after a further two years.

Minister, Shaun Woodward, expressed his hopes that all users would continue to treat the use of bus lanes responsibly.

Motorcycles are still excluded from some bus lanes for road safety reasons. Signs are erected to show clearly which bus lanes motorcyclists can use.

Buses, Belfast public hire taxis, taxis licensed to operate a bus type service and cyclists are currently permitted to use most bus lanes in Northern Ireland.

Further investigations are currently underway to consider whether or not access to bus lanes should be extended to other forms of high occupancy transport, including taxis.


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