Views are being sought on a proposed trial which would see motorcycles using bus lanes on the A65.
The council trial would include all bus lanes from Abbey Road through to the city centre, both inbound and outbound.
The trial supports the council’s goal of ‘vison zero’, achieving no people killed or seriously injured on Leeds roads by 2040. Motorcyclists are categorised as vulnerable road users as the rate of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) is far in excess of any other road user.
In Leeds, motorcycling currently has a modal share of 0.3% (2019) but despite this in 2019 motorcyclists accounted for a highly disproportionate 19% of KSI collisions. This is particularly acute for younger motorcyclists, for instance 16 year olds who are restricted to riding 50cc mopeds limited to a maximum of 28mph.
Kirkstall councillor Hannah Bithell (Lab) is encouraging people to e-mail her with comments over the proposed trial. She posted on social media:
“Allowing such particularly vulnerable road users to safely avoid mixing with often very busy general traffic in Kirkstall and without negatively impacting on other road users is a primary aim of the trial.”
It’s hoped the trial will encourage more people to leave their cars at home. Cllr Bithell added:
“In Leeds we’re moving towards a lower carbon future by aiming to achieve net zero carbon by 2030. Reducing the carbon and congestion impact of single occupancy cars is critical.
“By encouraging motorcycles, which emit less than half the carbon of private cars, we can improve air quality, fight climate change and reduce congestion in Kirkstall.
“your feedback and input is important to ensure proper consideration can be given to the impact on Kirkstall. The good news about the trial if it went ahead is that, unlike most traffic schemes, it is unlikely to involve road works, closures or changes to existing layouts, but simply amendments to signage, accompanied by the appropriate legal order and promotion.”
A Leeds City Council scrutiny board meeting in September 2019 approved a phased introduction of motorcycle access to bus lanes where possible, by setting up a time-limited trial at the site deemed most suitable.
The A65 was chosen in consultation with Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), primarily because the it has the widest bus lanes in Leeds, allowing the safest mixing of pedal cycles, hackney carriages, motorcycles and buses.
This trial would last a minimum of 12 months.
Comments on the proposed trial can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.