Following on from the work Andy from Durham MAG has done for bikers entering or riding in County Durham, Tony Reay up at Blyth MAG has been making significant in roads on Tyneside. (excuse the pun) Not a lot of people will know this, as most motorcyclists don’t get involved in the riders rights issues or even in trying to improve things for two wheel users. Tyneside bus lanes have had changes coming in for a long time due to mix of lane types in use e.g no car, no bus, bus & tax etc.
The no car lanes were not considered to be what the authority wanted for instance many powerful arguments are put forward for exclusive bus only lanes and that is what the bus companies want. Bus only lanes are super easy to police and set up, not only that but the bus companies are very powerful and they want, or demand bus only lanes. There are other arguments that go on about competition between rival transport providers like taxis and bus companies, but you don’t need to know all that.
It actually costs tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds just to change signage and road markings, then there’s all the legal stuff to alter. Now I won’t bore you with what’s gone on behind the scenes but it would have been very easy for the authority to move to a very simple, easy to police bus only lane system and there is always a lot of big money pressure to do that.
During talks Tony was having with various authorities he was made aware of why these changes were coming. So well done Mr Reay and Blyth MAG for keeping bikes on the agenda during these changes and making sure bikes were allowed into those bus lanes. Oh, and read the last sentence about parking.
NE MAG Regional Rep
Letter from Craig Mordue to Tony Reay
Dear Mr Reay,
Thank you for your email regarding motorcycles using our bus lanes in the city. In terms of background we have operated “no car” lanes in the city for a number of years with enforcement being undertaken by Northumbria Police.
We are in the process of changing these to more customary “bus” lanes which allows the Council to undertake enforcement and prioritise in line with our Local Transport Plan objectives.
For those locations where a “gate” feature (as opposed to a general lane) is required then we will be using the symbol below and we intend to include the motorcycle symbol within the round sign below:
Whilst I cannot provide you with any written evidence I can confirm that once the legal orders are finalised then I would be more than happy to share this with you.
With regard to motorcycles in our off street car parks, where possible we do try and provide dedicated bays. However, should a motorcyclist park within a “normal” pay and display bay then they may do so free of charge.
I trust this answers the points you have raised although please do not hesitate to contact me if you need to clarify any of the above.
Service Manager/Parking Services