Campaign focuses on improving awareness of bikers in bus lanes
The scheme was set up after an independent report into the initial trial found that motorcyclists' journey times improved, but increased the risk of collision with cars and vans.
Now Transport for London is backing the scheme with an advertising campaign aimed at improving drivers' awareness of motorcyclists in bus lanes during the extended 18-month trial.
The hard-hitting radio advert reminds drivers that motorcyclists are harder to spot than buses and asks drivers to look out for them, particularly when turning across bus lanes. DfT 2009 figures show once again that ‘Failed to look properly’ is the most common explanation for all accidents reported to police, accounting for 38 per cent, and this problem is especially bad for smaller vehicles.
Dr Graham Hole, cognitive psychologist at the University of Sussex, said: 'Research shows that drivers are less likely to notice vehicles in positions where they don’t expect to see them. Motorcycles in bus lanes will be a prime candidate for this problem.
'Publically promoting the trial will help this problem a lot by increasing drivers’ awareness, and as drivers get used to this new arrangement checking their nearside – left-hand – mirrors will hopefully become the rule rather than the exception.'
The TfL campaign is being supported by the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Peter Rodger, IAM chief examiner, said: 'We would like to emphasise Dr Hole’s comments. It will take time for motorists to get used to looking for motorcyclists in bus lanes. Motorcyclists using bus lanes are advised to assess individual vehicles in the ordinary lane – on their right – as they approach junctions on the left, to make sure that they are not going to turn left across their path, as well as taking the usual care with vehicles emerging from side roads.
'In time drivers will get more used to looking for both pedal and motorcycles in bus lanes, and sharing the road at junctions.'