24-hour bus lanes trial set to become permanent

TfL has announced plans to make its trial of 24-hour bus lanes permanent, in an effort to encourage people to choose more sustainable forms of transport.

The trial found that extending bus lane hours on London’s busiest roads ‘cut journey times and helped reliability’. Improvements in bus journey times were particularly noticeable in central and inner London, especially in both the mornings and evenings and throughout Sundays.

TfL expects 24-hour bus lanes will also improve service reliability, which – combined with the reduced journey times – will make bus use more attractive and help encourage more Londoners onto buses.

It says these changes will also benefit cyclists as they can ride in bus lanes without traffic.

Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport, said: “It’s vital that buses remain a reliable, attractive option for travelling around the capital to help prevent increased congestion and worsening air quality.

“The extension of bus lane hours to 24 hours on London’s busiest roads received a lot of support, and these changes will reduce bus journey times and help service reliability, helping people get around the city easily and sustainably.”

The trial saw 85km of bus lanes on the Transport for London Road Network (TLRN) move to operating 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

General traffic was restricted from driving in the bus lanes, while Blue Badge parking facilities and permitted taxi access were retained.

Analysis of the trial also looked at the impact on other forms of traffic when giving the bus priority for longer periods, and found that the measure had no significant impact.

The changes are subject to a final statutory consultation with emergency services, local authorities and other statutory consultees.

04 January 2022