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Motorcycles in London Bus Lanes

simon johnsonsimon johnson Posts: 1,064
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
Not a good idea?

Well, there is enough space for both but the element of surprise a motorcycle brings when it speeds past without warning is beginning to fray my nerves!

I consider myself a competent cyclist (130+ miles per week) and a safe one too but I've a had a few close encounters with motorcycles this week that could have ended in disaster.

I'd be interested to hear what other commuters think about this.

Sorry if I'm repeating an previous discussion on this topic, I didn't search for one.

Simon.
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  • I don't really have an issue with this. I trust a motorcyclist more then I do a bus or taxi driver as they are more aware of how vulnerable you feel on 2 wheels!
    Having said this I've become used to sharing the bus lane as part of my commute used to take in the A23 between Streatham and Brixton where the pilot scheme was run so I got used to having them in the lanes there!

    I can't say I've had one speed past without me at least expecting it as they tend to make quite a bit of a racket, even those pesky scooters, which don't some much speed past as struggle - having a top speed only about 5-10 mph above my "not trying" speed ;-)
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  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    I don't really have an issue with this. I trust a motorcyclist more then I do a bus or taxi driver as they are more aware of how vulnerable you feel on 2 wheels!

    hmm, motorcyclists have the highest likelyhood of being involved in a crash of any road user...

    Doesn't quite square up with your observation.

    I suppose you could argue that it's due to people not seeing them, but my observation is that they take silly risks at high speeds.
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    prj45 wrote:
    ... but my observation is that they take silly risks at high speeds.

    Likewise. I saw two really dreadful examples of seeing how fast you could accelerate between lights today, including undertaking lines of stationary and slow-moving traffic. One bike was doing in excess of 60 mph in a 30 zone.

    Riders like that need to be banned, not allowed in bus lanes.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    I'd say like any other road user it depends on how stupid they are and reckless they want to be.

    Cyclists are no exception in that regard, I certainly still do crazy things in my bicycle, though perhaps less dangerous than I did on my motorbike.

    But yes it is potentially dangerous, particulary as motorbikes don't wobble the same way bicycles do and of course motorbikers are more used to cars, so will only be a matter of time before a cyclist gets taken out by an idiot on a heavy road bike.

    Won't be pretty, though of course unlike a car hitting you, at least the idiot who does take you out will probably get hurt as well, which for most people is enough to make you think first.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    chuckcork wrote:
    I'd say like any other road user it depends on how stupid they are and reckless they want to be.

    Granted, but taking a silly risk on a light bicycle is more forgivable to me than taking a silly risk on a motorbike, in a car, or in a lorry.
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    prj45 wrote:
    Granted, but taking a silly risk on a light bicycle is more forgivable to me than taking a silly risk on a motorbike, in a car, or in a lorry.

    Quite. You are far less likely to cause injury to others, let alone yourself, on a bike than a motorbike. No excuse for bad behaviour on either, mind.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • I ride both kinds of bike, with engines and without, I have seen idiots riding both, it still bothers me that cyclist think they can ignore the rules of the road, jumping red lghts and bumping up on the pavement, you'd never see a motorcyclist doing that, they know how bloody stupid it is! Some motorcyclists take stupid risks, but in 24 years of riding a motorbike I have never hurt myself badly and have onyl come of twice, I came off my bicycle twice this weelk (ok I was on a downhill track).

    My point is that its a taring all with the same brush problem, its not what you're riding, its whose riding it that the issue.

    Ragged
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  • prj45prj45 Posts: 2,208
    ragged1100 wrote:
    you'd never see a motorcyclist doing that


    Oh dear, what about the guy on a motorbike tonight whom when faced with a bus trying to negotiate a tight squeeze on King Street in Hammersmith cut into and roared off the wrong way down the contra flow kerbed off cycle lane?
  • prj45 wrote:
    I don't really have an issue with this. I trust a motorcyclist more then I do a bus or taxi driver as they are more aware of how vulnerable you feel on 2 wheels!

    hmm, motorcyclists have the highest likelyhood of being involved in a crash of any road user...

    Doesn't quite square up with your observation.

    I suppose you could argue that it's due to people not seeing them, but my observation is that they take silly risks at high speeds.

    Right, and those high speeds seem even more reckless relative to the speed of all other traffic. In theory I don't have a problem with this arrangement but experience tells me otherwise. Maybe its something I can get accustomed to; one more variable in the commuting equation.

    I'm told it's a trial; anybody know how/when they'll make their decision on this.
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160

    I'm told it's a trial; anybody know how/when they'll make their decision on this.

    More info on the TfL website, and you can have your say here - https://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/roadusers/finesandregulations/motorcycleinbuslanes/default.aspx

    You will not be surprised that motorcyclists are attempting to organise a mass vote to swing the result (in a way that I'm not aware of cyclists doing) - http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/News/newsresults/mcn/2009/February/2-8/feb0409-cyclists-complete-tfl-survey/?R=EPI-105984

    Let's redress the balance a little. :wink:


    a serious case of small cogs
  • toontra wrote:

    I'm told it's a trial; anybody know how/when they'll make their decision on this.

    More info on the TfL website, and you can have your say here - https://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/roadusers/finesandregulations/motorcycleinbuslanes/default.aspx

    Great, thanks toontra.

    Also, make your feelings known here: http://www.lcc.org.uk/index.asp?PageID=1251


    Must say, my first venture onto the commuting forum has been quite pleasant, unlike the 'race' forum - gets a bit heated over there, I don't really get involved though!
    Where\'s me jumper?
  • I've had no problems so far. Generally, they're as interested in staying upright as we are. You'll always have the occasional psycho.
  • BikerbaboonBikerbaboon Posts: 1,017
    toontra wrote:
    prj45 wrote:
    Granted, but taking a silly risk on a light bicycle is more forgivable to me than taking a silly risk on a motorbike, in a car, or in a lorry.

    Quite. You are far less likely to cause injury to others, let alone yourself, on a bike than a motorbike. No excuse for bad behaviour on either, mind.


    I dont know if i was a truck driver and a some one on a bike took a silly risk and went under my wheels I am dam sure it would muck me up mentaly for years knowing that i had killed some one.

    If you want to take a risk jump off bridges with elastic stuck to your feet, Not on the road

    I feel if people want to take silly risks on the road then they need realy to be takeing the risks picking up the soap in cell blick H showers.
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  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    Firstly this topic has been done.. a lot

    Secondly quite a few people bleat on about not listening to music on the roads yet still complain about the surprise of a motorcycle:?: ... you can't all be deaf surely?? I listen to music and I still know they're coming

    this isn't aimed at anyone in specific it is what it is

    for the record I think motorbikes in the bus lane is perfectly fine and I've never had a problem with our two wheel brethren
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  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778

    If you want to take a risk jump off bridges with elastic stuck to your feet, Not on the road

    not related to anything else... but this is me at the end of that very tiny rope

    full_stretch.jpg
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  • Clever Pun wrote:

    If you want to take a risk jump off bridges with elastic stuck to your feet, Not on the road

    not related to anything else... but this is me at the end of that very tiny rope

    full_stretch.jpg


    Looks like Blougraans in South Africa.
    "People setting the pace too fast on the front are abused to slow down. Riders that do not share the work are abused. Riders that need abuse get abused and the abuse is done in every language so they get the message"
  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    I think its very dangerous as the motorcyclists are now using the bus lanes to undertake at high speed. I have had a few scary moments where I have swerved to avoid a pot hole and had a motorbike zoom past me too close for comfort. It is a matter of time until a cyclist gets knocked off IMHO. They are a menace and should not be in the bus lane.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    mmm but you should check over your shoulder before swerving really. There could be another cyclist coming up behind you.

    TBH I'm not bothered by them, buses are far more irritating as are motors in ASL's.
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  • SewinmanSewinman Posts: 2,131
    mmm but you should check over your shoulder before swerving really. There could be another cyclist coming up behind you.

    TBH I'm not bothered by them, buses are far more irritating as are motors in ASL's.

    Why? I have not changed lanes?
  • phil_ss1phil_ss1 Posts: 194
    edited February 2009
    ragged1100 wrote:
    I ride both kinds of bike, with engines and without, I have seen idiots riding both, it still bothers me that cyclist think they can ignore the rules of the road, jumping red lghts and bumping up on the pavement, you'd never see a motorcyclist doing that, they know how bloody stupid it is! Some motorcyclists take stupid risks, but in 24 years of riding a motorbike I have never hurt myself badly and have onyl come of twice, I came off my bicycle twice this weelk (ok I was on a downhill track).

    My point is that its a taring all with the same brush problem, its not what you're riding, its whose riding it that the issue.

    Ragged

    errr, NO!

    Lots of motorcyclists jump red lights in Nottingham, I chased one (after the lights went green) into a Retail Park, I got there as he got off his bike, I let rip about how stupid is was to weave up the middle of two lanes of traffic at the lights then turn left on red across the front of the guy in the left lane.

    He just walked straight past me - What a to$$er!

    Loads of scooters nip through lights and if they do stop at them try they then try and wheelie on Green. Would pee my pants if they fell off!

    We also have a complete nutty [email protected]# on an extremely overpowered "stealth" motorbike (matt paint and a number plate suitable for a car driven by ants) who insists on riding everywhere at a completely unreasonable speed, pulling 330 metre wheelies, 70/80/90? in the 30 limit outisde my house etc.... Plod don't give I toss when I ring about him.

    I'm not anti-bike, my mate rides one (sensibly).

    As usual the minority tarring the majority.

    [rant]
    About time came down hard on EVERY law breaker from peds, through cyclists, 'os riders, m/cyclists, cars, vans, lorries - EVERYONE - Get some BIG on the spot fines, hit people where it hurts NOW
    [/rant]

    P
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    mmm but you should check over your shoulder before swerving really. There could be another cyclist coming up behind you.

    Whilst technically correct, don't tell me you've never spotted a potentially lethal pothole at the last minute. I'd say it happens to me in London several times a day if I'm going on an unfamiliar route. When that happens, there's no time to look over your shoulder or indicate - it's either swerve or risk hitting the defect hard and coming off, maybe into traffic.

    The highway code recognises this, and tells drivers to give cyclists room as they may swerve to avoid potholes or be blown by gusts of wind.

    The whole point is that if motorbikes are undertaking traffic at speed then they pose an additional threat to cyclists - simple as that, really.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • RoastieRoastie Posts: 1,968
    Sewinman wrote:
    I think its very dangerous as the motorcyclists are now using the bus lanes to undertake at high speed. I have had a few scary moments where I have swerved to avoid a pot hole and had a motorbike zoom past me too close for comfort. It is a matter of time until a cyclist gets knocked off IMHO. They are a menace and should not be in the bus lane.

    Ditto.

    I think this is particularly a problem along longer, more open stretches of road where the speed differentials can be quite large (e.g. Battersea Park Rd/Nine Elms Ln).

    Each category of road users probably has roughly the same proportion of idiots - the questions is how much damage these idiots can do within the rules of the road.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    toontra wrote:
    mmm but you should check over your shoulder before swerving really. There could be another cyclist coming up behind you.

    Whilst technically correct, don't tell me you've never spotted a potentially lethal pothole at the last minute. I'd say it happens to me in London several times a day if I'm going on an unfamiliar route. When that happens, there's no time to look over your shoulder or indicate - it's either swerve or risk hitting the defect hard and coming off, maybe into traffic.

    The highway code recognises this, and tells drivers to give cyclists room as they may swerve to avoid potholes or be blown by gusts of wind.

    The whole point is that if motorbikes are undertaking traffic at speed then they pose an additional threat to cyclists - simple as that, really.

    True, but I like to think I'd hear a MB behind me. I've not yet been undertaken by one (yet), but I do worry about other cyclists trying to undertake when I'm slowing for lights (lets face it this is the only chance they get!) I'm pretty good at looking out for potholes - owning a pricey bike tends to make you risk averse in that respect!
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  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    IMHO a Motoryclist racing along a bus lane alongside stationary traffic is, within a very short time, going to find their MB impacting on the car iturning across their path, the driver of which would never have looked for them because they didn't expect to see a mB there (in the first instance) and couldn't see them in the second due to poor sightlines.

    Its hard enough getting people to notice you when you're on a slower bicycle and take your ability to go from 0 to 20mph in a very short distance and your inability to stop as quickly as a car into account, when they say pull out in front of you (like the censored in Kingston last night, ignores me + superbright lights + high viz gear to cut me up on a roundabout and then stops dead so I almost run into the f*cker).

    Motorcyclists with a far higher speed, heavier weight, and also limited braking ability especially in the wet, are just asking to be organ donors.
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    edited February 2009
    Good point chuckcork. There is inherent dander in filtering up the inside, even in a bus lane. Oncoming traffic turning right and drivers pulling left to avoid right-turning vehicles mean it's a hazardous business.

    When filtering, even in bus lanes, I reduce my speed near any junction or where my visibility is restricted. I'm not sure that motorcyclists are always that careful (from what I see anyway).

    Another thing I've noticed since the regs changed - the ASL areas are crammed with motorbikes at busy times, leaving no room for cyclists (for whom they were designed). Now that is bloody annoying, and potentially dangerous.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • As I say every time this crops up, although you get occasional nutters on big bikes seeing how much speed they can get up between lights, the biggest problem is the L-Plated scooter-riding numpties with only a CBT which allows them on the road for 2 years (I think) after just one day of very basic training.
  • chuckcorkchuckcork Posts: 1,471
    As I say every time this crops up, although you get occasional nutters on big bikes seeing how much speed they can get up between lights, the biggest problem is the L-Plated scooter-riding numpties with only a CBT which allows them on the road for 2 years (I think) after just one day of very basic training.

    Perhaps the licence issued after the CBT is done, should have a prefilled organ donor permission on the other side?

    Well, if they're going to behave that way....
    'Twas Mulga Bill, from Eaglehawk, that caught the cycling craze....
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    I think motorcyclists have excellent braking - am I wrong?

    I'd rather not ride with motorbikes in the bus lane but I can see why it makes sense.
  • toontratoontra Posts: 1,160
    Over and above all of the issues mentioned, I question what this whole scheme is meant to achieve. Surely we should be encouraging sustainable transport and getting cars off the road, especially those used for short journeys (i.e. the bloody school run). This doesn't address that in any way - all it seems seems designed to do is make life a bit easier for motorists and motorcyclists at the expense of cyclists and buses. Backward thinking IMO.


    a serious case of small cogs
  • Clever PunClever Pun Posts: 6,778
    As I say every time this crops up, although you get occasional nutters on big bikes seeing how much speed they can get up between lights, the biggest problem is the L-Plated scooter-riding numpties with only a CBT which allows them on the road for 2 years (I think) after just one day of very basic training.

    yes a cbt allows 2 years and then you get another one you get another 2 years ad infinitum

    Anyone going to comment on my comment on the 1st page?

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