New driving law changes could see motorcycles allowed to ride in bus lanes - 'Long time coming'

New driving law changes could see motorcycles allowed to ride in bus lanes - 'Long time coming'

WATCH: Driving rule changes - Five KEY road changes that could affect YOU

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 18/03/2024

- 11:24

Updated: 18/03/2024

- 12:39

One motorcycle group called on riders to give evidence in support of the rules

New driving law changes could be introduced to allow motorcycles to use bus lanes by default, with a consultation being launched to hear the opinions of the public.

An open consultation has been launched to seek views on allowing local authorities to give the green light to motorcycles to use bus lanes by default.

In the original Plan for Drivers, announced last year, the Government said it would issue a revised Traffic Advisory Leaflet to guide local authorities on allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes.

It added that this was being done to create smoother journeys for drivers and make sure that road rules do not feel “arbitrary or inconsistent”.

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Bus lane

The consultation is expected to end in June


Allowing motorcyclists to use bus lanes was first trialled in the 1990s with an update in 2011 seeing local authorities permit motorcycles to use bus lanes without the need for the Department for Transport.

The Government has two options, namely continuing with the current position or allowing motorcycles to access bus lanes by default.

It highlights potential benefits including improved journey times for motorcyclists, improved safety and a reduction in congestion for other motorists.

However, it acknowledged that plans could lead to an impact on vulnerable road users and the possibility of extending bus journey times.

Guy Opperman, Minister for Roads and Local Transport, said motorcyclists were often overlooked, including by the Government, and pointed to the Plan for Drivers as a way of proving that those motorists were being protected.

He added: “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.”

In response to the launch of the consultation, the Motorcycle Action Group called on its members and followers to respond and make their feelings known.

Posting on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, it said: “The consultation on default motorcycle access in bus lanes has arrived.

“This has been a long time coming - don't waste this opportunity. Make sure you take time to respond. MAG will be making a formal response. Will you?”

Writing in support of the proposed measures, Howard Cox, founder of FairFuelUK and Reform UK candidate for London Mayor, said: “No ifs – no buts!


Motorcycles on the road

The Motorcycle Action Group has called on riders to take part in the consultation


“Motorcycles will be allowed to access all bus lanes in Greater London if I’m elected London Mayor.”

The open consultation will end on June 9 at 11.59, with the Government expected to use the responses to inform future policy decisions.

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