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Council in plan for motorcycle access in bus lanes

MOTORBIKES will be allowed to join buses, ­bicycles and black cabs on bus lanes in the Scottish capital, under a plan to be heard this week.

Edinburgh City Council has created more than 30 miles of bus lanes which it says form an important element in delivering a high quality and reliable public transport system.

Members of the city's transport and environment committee will consider the proposal as part of a review of the Capital's bus lane network, which would see a trial of motorcycles in bus lanes for an initial nine-month period.

If approved, Edinburgh would become the first city in Scotland to permit motorcycles in bus lanes, although a number of cities south of the border have already made the change.

Transport for London (TfL) recently decided to give motorcycles permanent access to most of London's red routes following two extensive trials.

Another key recommendation of the report is to standardise operation times to peak periods only for the vast majority of the city's bus lanes, initially for a nine-month trial period.

At present, around 90 per cent of the city's bus lane network consists of peak-period or all-day bus lanes.

Lesley Hinds, transport convener, said: "This report calls for the vast majority of bus lanes to operate at peak periods only, again for a trial period to begin with.

"We also know that it can be very confusing for motorists not knowing which bus lanes operate under which hours. Standardising around 90% of the network to peak periods only will make things much simpler.

"Having heard from motorcycle users during our review, we're minded to start a trial of allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes in Edinburgh."

Ken Glendinning, ­Edinburgh representative of the British Motorcyclists Federation, said: "Trials in other cities have shown that bikes can co-exist successfully and safely with bicycles and other authorised vehicles in bus lanes." He said that in most cases, overall accident rates had reduced.

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