Removing bus lanes in Liverpool and London

Liverpool has surely set an example that other major cities might like to follow. The City council and Mayor have decided to permanently remove 22 or the 26 bus lanes in the City, most of which are on radial routes. The four remaining ones will now only operate for limited hours rather than the previous 24 hours. This follows a trial since last October on which the Mayor commented: “Now for the first time we have robust data about the effect of bus lanes, rather than people’s opinions about how useful or otherwise they are”.

But the council is considering other proposals to assist buses such as traffic signal priority and the introduction of red routes to stop obstructive parking.

Comment:  Would it not be a good idea for London councils to take the same approach, i.e. remove bus lanes and see what the impact is? This writer could never understand the moral principle of allowing bus users to jump a queue of other vehicles. Why should public transport users get any priority? That is particularly the case when bus lanes are rarely fully occupied by buses so they often simply reduce the total capacity of the road network to move people around a City.

Of course Councils are often in favour of bus lanes because they generate large amounts of revenue from infringements which in London can be automated via cameras. Many of those infringements are often accidental or of a nature where no bus is impeded (for example a car turning left via a bus lane when the road is clear to the exit).

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