Kirkstall Road: Bus lanes to open to motorcyclists for year-long trial

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Bus lanes on the A65b Kirkstall Road will open to motorbikes as part of a trial

Bus lanes on the A65 Kirkstall Road will open to motorcyclists in a year-long trial starting tomorrow.

Leeds City Council has today announced the trial, which aim is to support motorcycling as an alternative to car travel on the corridor and improve safety for motorcyclists.

The trial will run from Friday, 29 July 2022 to 28 July 2023, and will see motorcycles and scooters in Leeds using the A65 bus lanes between Kirkstall and the city centre. 

The trial includes both inbound and outbound lanes from the city centre by the TGI Friday’s junction, along Kirkstall on the A65, up to the junction with Butlers Wharf (Kirkstall Forge entrance). These bus lanes are operational 24/7. 

An evaluation of the trial will take place considering motorcyclist’s safety and the impact on other road users, particularly other vulnerable road users and bus passengers. Following the trial period, a decision will be made if this will be a permanent change.

The Leeds and Bradford branch of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has welcomed the decision, saying the move will make travel faster and safer for all forms of transport.

They say the trial brings Leeds in line with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s 20-year transport strategy and means that four of the five authorities in West Yorkshire now support some form of motorcycle access to bus lanes – and gives Leeds an opportunity to become a leader in demonstrating alternatives to private cars.

Richard “Manny” Manton, Leeds and Bradford MAG branch rep, said: 

“We are delighted that this motorcycle bus lane access trial has finally started. 

“The Kirkstall Road trial brings Leeds one step closer to removing an unfortunate misalignment with the WYCA’s 20-year transport policy. 

“We are confident that the conclusions will be positive and city-wide roll out on the successful conclusion of the trial has potential to help achieve the Council’s ambitions to reduce car use in the city 

“We are looking forward to a roll out across the whole of Leeds which will make motorcycling safer and an even more convenient alternative to the car.” 

Councillor Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said:

“Our ambition is to become a city where you don’t need a car. Motorcycles emit significantly fewer exhaust emissions than the average car, so are a more attractive choice for singular passenger journeys thereby helping us reduce emissions and congestion for everyone. In the longer term, as more electric motorcycles come onto the market, they will help us achieve our decarbonisation targets.

“I’m pleased we’ve listened to feedback from Motorcycle Action Group and other motorcycling stakeholders to bring forward this trial as part of our promise in our Connecting Leeds transport strategy. We’re also committed to providing new parking facilities across Leeds to support motorcyclists in Leeds.

“Sharing road space with buses and lower speeded users such as bicycles and pedestrians who are crossing will deserve due diligence from motorcycle users in Leeds and I would urge them to take extra care.

“Like other large growing cities, Leeds faces several challenges, including combatting climate change. An increase in the number of people choosing sustainable transport options would help us with our ambition of being a carbon neutral city by 2030.“

If you would like to learn more about the trial or read some tips for using the bus lane safely for your journey, visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/motorcycletrial

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1 COMMENT

  1. Motorcycle theft has gone through the roof in Leeds and surrounding areas, and Leeds Council have removed motorcycle parking bays from areas of high footfall to more secluded areas which are a thieves dream. Pointless having this scheme unless its tied in with more secure parking in areas that have many people around.

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