Driving law changes may launch soon allowing some vehicles to enter bus lanes in major rule shake-up

Driving law changes may launch soon allowing some vehicles to enter bus lanes in major rule shake-up

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 17/05/2024

- 14:38

Drivers will be given until June 9 to offer their opinion on the potential law changes

Major new driving law changes could be introduced following a period of consultation, which is due to close next month, which could allow motorcycles access to bus lanes.

The consultation follows a petition which received over 11,000 signatures having opened in March 17.

The consultation will close on June 9, meaning drivers only have a few weeks left to respond to the change which could impact all roads across England.

If successful, it would mean that motorcyclists will also be able to use bus lanes alongside cyclists and some taxis.

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Bus lane

The consultation was launched after a petition received over 11,000 signatures


The petition prompted the Government to respond, leading to the consultation to gather evidence on whether bikers accessing bus lanes would be beneficial or not.

Guy Opperman, Minister for Roads and Local Transport said: “Amending this could lead to many positive benefits including shorter journey times for those on motorcycles and less congestion for motorists in normal lanes, all while potentially having little impact on bus journeys.

“The department has historically been neutral, leaving it to local authorities to decide if this is something they wish to adopt, as set out in the original advice published in 2007.

“The world has moved on since, and it is right that we consider whether the evidence now supports a move to a more positive position, that the presumption should be that motorcyclists be allowed to use bus lanes unless there are good reasons not to.”

The consultation details how it would be up to local authorities to make decisions on whether to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes on their networks.

Listing some potential benefits, some included improving journey times for motorcyclists, in addition to making motorcycling a more convenient form of transport.

Another includes improving safety for motorcyclists by removing potential conflicts with general traffic.

Having bus lanes open to bikers could also help reduce congestion for other motorists on routes currently used by motorcyclists.

However, when looking at potential drawbacks, there could be impacts on other road users, especially those who may be more vulnerable.

There are fears that any rule changes could make bus journeys longer given that the lanes would be busier than usual.

However, Cycling UK said it strongly believes that bikers should not be allowed in bus lanes.

The charity warned that if motorcyclists are also allowed, the benefits of using the bus lane would be undermined for cyclists.


Bus lane

Drivers will be given until June 9 to respond to the consultation


The charity stated that allowing bikers to use the lanes would encourage motorcycle riders to go “faster”, with “worrying” implications for the safety of cyclists and pedestrians.

They make bus lanes more “intimidating”, especially for less confident cyclists, Cycling UK added.

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