Why are TfL running the trial?
The bus network plays a vital role in London’s success with over 6 million passenger journeys a day prior to lockdown restrictions. As well as being the most common mode of transport to town centres, London's buses provide accessible and affordable public transport provision that Londoners rely on, with over 50 per cent of disabled Londoners using buses at least once a week.
As the city starts moving again, in line with Government advice, we’re asking people to avoid peak periods and change the times that they choose to travel. With demand on public transport rising, we want to make sure that people choosing to travel on the bus network have the safest, quickest and most reliable journey at all times of the day. In parallel we are also creating more space for people to safely walk or cycle to avoid a sharp increase in car use. If people switch even a fraction of their previous journeys to cars, the increased congestion would be damaging for both the environment and public health, and essential deliveries and emergency services will be gridlocked.
To support this work we are trialling operating bus lanes at all times on TfL red routes. This change will help keep bus lanes clear so that bus journey times are more reliable and consistent throughout the day and enable passengers to plan their journey more accurately. This will also help make the roads safer for cyclists by providing more space away from general traffic. Some London boroughs are also trialling similar measures on their road network.
How did TfL make a decision to proceed with the trial?
We undertook a statutory consultation in late July. We also discussed the proposals with London’s boroughs and other groups across London, including passenger representative groups, the business sector, accessibility and inclusion groups, as well as road safety and road user groups. We also invited people to email us about the proposals.
Most of the people we heard from were supportive of our proposal to extend bus lane operating hours and the decision to start the trial from 13 September was taken.
What changes will be made to parking along red routes when the trial is running?
On some red routes, car-parking will be suspended during the trial, and general traffic will be restricted at all times.
I run a business and need to use loading bays along the red routes, how will this change during the trial?
All loading facilities will initially be retained during the trial, so businesses can continue their delivery schedules as normal.
During the trial, loading bays flagged as disruptive to buses will be monitored to determine:
• when and how often these loading bays are used, and
• the type of loading that occurs
This will help us understand if there is an opportunity to move these loading bays to alternative locations.
I cycle along bus lanes, will I still be able to do this during the trial?
On routes where cyclists use the bus lane during existing hours of operation, this will continue.
I drive a motorcycle in London and use bus lanes to complete my journey, will I still be able to do this during the trial?
On routes where motorcyclists use the bus lane during existing hours of operation, this will continue.
I drive a taxi and use bus lanes to take passengers across London, will I still be able to do this during the trial?
On routes where taxis can use the bus lane during existing hours of operation, this will continue.
How will we TfL make a decision on whether or not to implement these changes permanently?
At the end of the trial, we’ll decide which bus lanes should be permanently changed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our decision will be based on several different factors including:
• Feedback from key stakeholders and the community
• Bus journey times and reliability
• Use of the lanes by people cycling
• Impacts of the scheme on other modes of traffic
• Impact of the scheme on people protected under the Equality Act 2010