Transport for London (TfL) has today set out plans to extend the hours of bus lanes on its roads in London to reflect a customer shift away from peak hours, helping ensure London’s sustainable recovery from the pandemic.
Existing access for bikes, taxis and motorcycles will be retained, while designated disabled parking bays, Blue Badge parking facilities and most loading bays will also be retained in the trial.
As London recovers from coronavirus, TfL claim there is an increasing need to provide more safe space for people to use active, sustainable and socially distanced modes of travel. It is hoped that by extending bus lane operating hours it will help guard against a car-led recovery by improving bus journey times and safety for Londoners making journeys by public transport and travelling by bike.
Before the pandemic, in 2018/19, 1.15 billion journeys were made on the bus routes that will now benefit from the proposed changes. The changes reflect a current customer shift away from travel at ‘normal’ peak hours with demand now spreading throughout the day, and follow recent extensions to bus lane hours that have seen improvements to reliability in line with the Mayor’s Transport Strategy.
The trial will start in late summer and will make bus journeys quicker throughout the day as 24 hour bus lanes will reduce the impact of any congestion on buses.
Claire Mann, Director of Bus Operations at TfL, said: “This pandemic has changed the way we all live, work and travel. For that reason, we need to adapt our network, be flexible and continue to help people travel safely and reliably as London gets back on its feet.
“The proposed changes to the operational hours of bus lanes will have significant benefits for bus passengers and people cycling beyond the current hours of operation, many of which were introduced years ago in a very different situation. We will carefully consider all feedback to ensure the trial has the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people and supports London’s recovery from coronavirus.”