A scheme to trial 24-hour-a-day seven-days-a-week bus lanes on some of London’s busiest roads begins this Sunday.
Transport for London’s (TfL’s) trial forms part of a number of measures it is undertaking to support London’s sustainable recovery from the pandemic.
This follows July’s announcement of the proposed plans and positive feedback from organisations and members of the public.
The changes will accommodate the customer shift away peak hour travel, creating more space for active, sustainable and socially distanced modes of travel.
A single-decker bus carries 10 times the average number of people in a car, even with current capacity restrictions due to social distancing, but uses just twice the space of a car.
TfL said the trial of extended bus lane hours will help guard against a damaging car-led recovery that would pose risks to safety, the environment and public health, by improving bus journey times and make it safer both for those using public transport and the increasing number of cyclists.
The bus lanes included in the trial are on Transport for London’s Red Routes, comprising more than 80km of road, with all the affected routes to have changed their hours by late September.
General traffic will be restricted from using the bus lane during the off-peak hours, with car parking suspended on some routes.
Blue Badge parking facilities will be retained in the trial and clear signage will indicate which roads are affected and when they are expected to change.
The trial will last up to 18 months to give enough time for bus lanes to be closely monitored and to determine which could benefit from a permanent change to a 24/7 operation.
The review will consider road user safety, bus journey time data, effects on other traffic and the impact on those protected under the Equality Act 2010.
The public will have the opportunity to share their experiences during the trial online at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/better-bus-journeys/.
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