Motorbikes Using Bus Lanes

Just looking at your good cycling guide and read this section -

Beware of fast-moving traffic Motorbikes and scooters often go much faster than other road users. They can come up behind you very quickly, so always check behind you before moving sideways, even within your own lane

What ever happened to this issue with bikes using bus lanes? I thought it was only a short term test to see how it work out. ANd the last time I saw any results they found 80%+ of motorbikes / scooters usng bus lanes were speeding. Not safe for them, pedestrians and of course cyclcists.....


Found this Guardian article talking about the second 18-month trial -

There was an 18-month trial, which effectively failed because road danger for all road users increased. 

However, Transport for London massaged the figures to give the impression that it was safe - no doubt because allowing motorbikes in bus lanes was an election promise by the Mayor. 

However, TfL acknowledged that the measure wasn't safe by refusing to bring the measure in permanently, which is why they started another 18-month trial.

So where are we now? 

Nearly through the second trial (it ends in January 2012), when it will be time for TfL and ourselves to assess the new trial data.

Boris won't want to go back on his election promise to motorcyclists, so expect an awful lot of spin whatever the result.

We'll certainly be making sure this policy is back on everyone's radar in the New Year, especially around election time...

That's great to hear LCC will be taking this up.

Thanks for the info, would be good to see LCC commenting on more post in the forum.


I would think motor cyclists are like ordinary cyclists on the way home. If there's a chance you go as quick as you can when an opening occurs. The difference of course is that when you open the throttle on a motorbike you get to 60mph in about 5 seconds so they're bound to speed. So yes motor bikes using bus lanes is dangerous and prone to speeding.

I hope that just because we're pro-cycling, it doesn't mean we have to be anti-motorcycling. Cyclists and motorcyclists obviously have disagreements at times and the occasional collision, but overall we've got a lot in common in how we use the road. I feel safer in bus lanes used by motorcyclists, because it increases the number of vulnerable road users using the lane, and gives drivers pulling out from side roads less excuse for saying 'sorry mate I didn't see you' to anything that doesn't have four wheels.

I am a cyclist and an IAM motorcycle observer. I find scooter riders in particular seem to be the main problem in cycle lanes and bus lanes.

I do leave advance stop boxes and cycle lanes clear where possible and on my way to work there are 2 or 3 bus lanes available to motorcyclists mostly at major junctions such as old street and even then I only use these if there is no clear route on the outsise.

A lot of it simply depends on the rider if it comes to cyclists and motorcyclists.

Yesterday I had a guy on a boris bike cycling the wrong way down a one way screet emerge onto a main road when the lights had just turned green for traffic into his road with 2 lanes of traffic heading towards him and also a scooter rider come from a cycle lane he was illegally using emerging without looking out from between cars straight in front of me (because his route was blocked by cyclists) so thats one of each in one day.

It depends on training and experience imo. It doesnt help you with somebody coming up behind you but a big L plate is usually a good warning sign and a high pitched buzzing noise of a scooter is fairly noticable.

Best Regards,


  • By Andy at 4:49pm 18 November 2011

I'm with Dominicfee on this. M/cycles are not the enemy here. If you exclude them from bus lanes they would either have to bump along in the queues like cars (they wouldn't do that any more than any cyclist would), or go up the middle, which is really dangerous. People often forget that bicycles weren't allowed in bus lanes once, so we should stop behaving like they are our property. (And anyway, apart from prats on m/cycles blocking up the ASL boxes, the biggest danger in bus lanes is, er, buses). 

  • By Shreds at 7:53pm 18 November 2011
Recently got buzzed far too close for comfort by a mcycle. They are motor transport, can out-sprint most cars and have no place in cycle lanes. Boris get back to the drawing board and dont make silly promises to m/cyclists. Lets not wait until the new year to make opposition clear. Do it now and highlight the problems.
  • By Stily1 at 11:03am 28 November 2011

Being a London bicycle commuter *and* a motorcyclist, this is a tough challenge.

Personally I don't have much trouble with the idea of sharing the bicycle lane with considerate scooterists and motorcyclists, and when the traffic is stopped, I'm happy to share as we all move through the gridlock.

However, there is a far cry difference between motorised cycles sharing a bus lane, and motorised cycles using a bicycle-only lane at motorised traffic speeds!

In a bus lane, there is room for a logical order of speeds, slower traffic at the curb, faster traffic towards the middle. In a bicycle lane this is not the case, and frankly, all traffic should travel at bicycle speeds.

I understand that currently, due to this trial, motorised cycles are allowed in the bus lanes, but this doesn't apply to bicycle lanes. This is an important disticntion that our petrol-headed brothers and sisters need to be reminded of. Legally they don't have the right to be there, so they'd better be smart about how they do it. Frankly, I think they *should* be relegated to filtering *between* the cars.

Motorcycles in bus lanes, yes. Motorcycles in bicycle lanes? Only in heavy traffic, and only and bicycle speeds. Simples!

  • By Stily1 at 10:04am 30 November 2011

This morning on Millbank (Westminster) the coppers appeared to be ticketing scooterists for using the bicycle lane. FWIW!

  • By buggins at 6:48pm 21 December 2011

Well it looks like they've decided to make it permanent:


The Evening Standard is reporting that it improves safety, but from a quick read of the reports it links to I don't see how they can draw that conclusion. What do other people think? Does anyone know more details?

I live in Bristol but occasionally have to stay and work in London. Boris touted Bristol as the place where motorbikes in bus lanes work (we've had 'em since the mid 90's) but based on my experience in london and what I've seen, I regard it as Boris & TfL's biggest mistake. Not wishing to tar everyone with the same brush, but there are a lot of bikers in London who are kamikaze lunatics with the riding skills of a demented wasp on amphetamines. I've seen them speeding in bus lanes (recently worked on Nine Elms Lane in Battersea, saw several bikers get pulled by a police speed trap), undertaking dangerously at speed often cutting in between buses and traffic in the outer lane, and, of course, barging into the ASL on red.

I was driving back to my hotel in Earl's Court along Grosvenor Road in Pimlico, I witnessed several motorcyclists casually using the blue superhighway (CS8 I think). However, it has a solid white line so is it mandatory?. If so, theyre flouting the rules. But my biggest annoyance is their casual use of the ASL. All too often when I work in london I see the ASL's full of motorbikes whilst cyclists are caught behind in traffic - should be the other way around.

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