Motorcyclists could get use of bus lanes in Leicester
Motorcyclists could be allowed to ride down some of the city's bus lanes as part of an experiment to cut traffic congestion.
Councillors have asked for an investigation to be carried out to see if bikers could be permitted to take advantage of bus-only zones on main routes in and out of the city – with a view to arranging a trial period.
The move results from a request by the Leicester and District Motorcycle Action Group which wants the city to follow the example of other cities and towns in opening up bus lanes to motorcyclists.
London, Birmingham, Belfast, Bedford, Swindon, Reading, Hull and Sunderland have all, to some extent, allowed access to cyclists.
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Action group spokesman Ian Underwood has told the council's transport scrutiny commission he would like bikes to be able to use bus lanes in Hinckley Road, Welford Road, Uppingham Road, Aylestone Road, and London Road.
He told members he thought the step would improve traffic flows and cut congestion and air pollution.
Commission chairman councillor Neil Clayton said: "We listened to evidence from the motorcyclists and felt it would be worth considering a trial period where they could use the bus lanes and see what impact that would have.
"It would be for the city's arterial routes, not the bus gates in the city centre.
"We have passed on a recommendation to the council's executive to consider it."
Coun Clayton said there had been requests from private hire taxi operators to be granted bus lane access. Licensed hackney cabs are allowed to share the lanes with buses.
He said: "They want to be treated the same as hackney cabs but we thought that wasn't a good idea because it will lead to confusion."
Motorcyclist Steven Collins, 37, from Aylestone, said: "I might want to use a bus lane at times when there are not many buses running but I'm not sure how safe it would be in busy periods.
"Buses are big things with poor visibility for the drivers, while bikers are small and hard to see. It's not a good mix."
Biker Glenn Crawford, 40, of Thurmaston, said: "No thanks. "It's not necessary because clever bikers will be able to beat jams by passing between cars."