The first bus lane in the UK was introduced in 1968.
Bus Lanes are intended to give priority to buses, cutting down on journey times where roads are congested with other traffic and increasing the reliability of buses.
MAG campaign for access to bus lanes on the grounds of increased road safety for riders whilst having no adverse impact on bus services or other road users. The first trials for allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes started in 1994, and have gradually spread across the UK, with access now permitted in over 50 local authority areas. However, with access decisions being taken at local level, there is now a situation of major inconsistency across the country, even with an inconsistent approach to access being demonstrated within individual local authorities.
Known Bus Lane Access Locations
The list below is accurate to our knowledge, but if you have knowledge of additional locations, please let us know:
1996 South Gloucestershire
1996 North Somerset
1998 Hull City Council
2000 M4 Bus Lane
2003 London TLRN
2003 North East Lincolnshire
2004 Northern Ireland
2009 Hammersmith & Fulham
2012 North Lincolnshire
2013 Newport (SW)
2014 East Sussex
2014 Newcastle on Tyne
2014 Brighton & Hove
2017 Waltham Forest
Other authorities have agereed in principle in transport plans that access should be granted, but are yet to implement the policy.
MAG believes that motorcycles are a legal mode of transport and as such, their riders are entitled to expect that measures be taken to improve their safety. With over 75 UK transport authorities recognising the sense of PTW access to bus lanes, the momentum of the policy is undeniable.
MAG calls for the Department for Transport to update its guidance for local authorities to make motorcycle access the default position for all bus lanes unless specific reasons for exclusion can be demonstrated.
MAG report: PTW Access to Bus Lanes, October 2018 
- LTN 1/97 “Keeping buses moving”
- Government's White Paper on the Future of Transport, “A New deal for Transport: Better for everyone"
- MCIA Report "An Observational Study of the Use of Bus Lanes By Motorcycles And Bicycles" 2004
- MAG Document "Evidence for the Greater London Assembly Transport Committee Scrutiny Panel on the use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles" (2004)
- GLA Transport Committee meeting minutes
- DfT Motorcycle Strategy 2005
- TAL 2/07 “The Use of Bus Lanes by Motorcycles”
- GLA Report “Easy Rider: Improving motorcycle safety on London’s roads” 2016
- Transport for London P2W in bus lanes study 2007
- Transport for London - "Attitudes to the Trial of Motorcycles in Bus Lanes" 2008
- TRL report "Impacts of motorcycles in Westminster bus lanes" 2008
- First TRL study (for TfL) 2010
- London Borough of Ealing Report
- MAG letter to Ealing
- Second TFL study 2011
- Evaluation of Journey Time and Emissions of PTWs in Bus Lanes
- Code of Conduct For Motorcyclists Using Bus Lanes
- Motorbikes in Bus Lanes Leaflet