Previous posts have described the record of Transport for London and the Greater London Authority under Mayors Livingstone and Johnson with regard to cycling. Whatever the verdict on this record is, there is one two-wheeler group that has done well in London since 2000 – motorcyclists. Motorcyclists have profited from virtually unhindered access to supposedly cycle-specific facilties such as Advanced Stop Lines and cycle gaps in road closures. Press attention is drawn to pedestrians killed in collisons with cyclists, but not the larger number in incidents involving motorcyclists. While cycling is persistently portrayed as hazardous, motorcycling – with far higher casualty rates – is not.
TfL’s pro-motorcycling agenda is shown up well in the saga of allowing motorcyclists into bus lanes. While the details may tend to bore all but the most hardened transport professional, this episode tells us a lot about how some road user groups can get their way, irrespective of the evidence supposedly required to justify legal changes. Time and again we can see in the history “road safety” how a safety benefit is consumed as a performance benefit. In this case it is even dubious whether any safety benefit for the measure taken has ever existed: we simply move to the performance benefit (of motorcyclists having extra road space) while using “road safety” as a justification.
Below Colin McKenzie summarises the latest stage in this story: Continue reading