Road users in Calderdale are being urged to make themselves aware of upcoming changes to bus lane restrictions.
There are currently four area in Calderdale with designated bus lanes, these are:
- A646 Burnley Road, King Cross (eastbound)
- A629 Huddersfield Road (Calderdale Way), Ainley Top (southbound)
- A629 Skircoat Road, Skircoat (northbound)
- A629 Huddersfield Road, Skircoat (southbound)
From Tuesday 1 March, changes are being introduced to the type of vehicles and the operational hours of some of these bus lanes.
Powered two-wheelers including motorcycles are already permitted in the bus lane on Huddersfield Road, Skircoat, but they will now also be allowed to use other bus lanes around the borough. There will also be changes to bus lane times of operation on Burnley Road, with PM peak times (4pm – 6pm) added to the existing AM hours (7.30am- 9.30am).
The decision to permit the use of powered two-wheelers in all bus lanes in the borough follows a commissioned study of bus lanes in West Yorkshire by the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. This subsequently recommended that motorcycles be permitted to use bus lanes across the Combined Authority region. Nationally, many cities and regional towns have already introduced this change, including Sheffield and York.
The Council is also encouraging people to travel more sustainably to support its work to tackle the climate crisis and reduce carbon emissions. Motorcycles emit less than half the carbon of private cars and by permitting their use in bus lanes it can encourage a shift from car use, subsequently reducing congestion.
Permitting bus lane use can also reduce rider vulnerability when used properly and this change should improve safety for motorcycle users. Drivers are being urged to keep a close eye out for moped and motorbike riders when turning across bus lanes. At the same time motorcyclists are being advised to wear high-visibility reflective clothing, stick to speed limits and be conscious that vehicles may cross their path unexpectedly.
Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Strategy, Cllr Jane Scullion, said:
“By allowing powered two-wheelers, such as motorcycles to use bus lanes across the borough, we hope to encourage a shift away from car use and reduce congestion as well as carbon emissions. The change also has safety benefits for riders. We’re introducing this change using guidance from regional studies and following similar initiatives in towns and cities across the country.
“Signage will be in place, but it’s important that motorists are aware of this change and ensure they look out for motorcycles, particularly when turning across bus lanes, or sharing the road at junctions.”