From Friday the 29th of July 2022 to the 28th of July 2023, motorcycles (including scooters) in Leeds can use the A65 bus lanes between Kirkstall and the Leeds City Centre.
The 12-month trial period’s aim is to support motorcycling as an alternative to car travel on the corridor and improve safety for motorcyclists. The trial is applicable both inbound and outbound lanes from the city centre by the TGI Junction, along Kirkstall on the A65, up to the junction with Butlers Wharf (Kirkstall Forge entrance). These bus lanes are operational on a 24/7 basis. An evaluation of the trial will take place considering motorcyclist’s safety and the impact on other road users, particularly other vulnerable road users and bus passengers. Following the trial period, a decision will be made if this will be a permanent change.
Councillor Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate said:
“Our ambition is to become a city where you don’t need a car. Motorcycles emit significantly fewer exhaust emissions than the average car, so are a more attractive choice for singular passenger journeys thereby helping us reduce emissions and congestion for everyone. In the longer term, as more electric motorcycles come onto the market, they will help us achieve our decarbonisation targets. I’m pleased we’ve listened to feedback from Motorcycle Action Group and other motorcycling stakeholders to bring forward this trial as part of our promise in our Connecting Leeds transport strategy. We’re also committed to providing new parking facilities across Leeds to support motorcyclists in Leeds.
“Sharing road space with buses and lower speeded users such as bicycles and pedestrians who are crossing will deserve due diligence from motorcycle users in Leeds and I would urge them to take extra care. Like other large growing cities, Leeds faces several challenges, including combatting climate change. An increase in the number of people choosing sustainable transport options would help us with our ambition of being a carbon neutral city by 2030.“
A Leeds and Bradford Motorcycle Action Group representative said:
“We’re delighted the motorcycles in bus lanes access trial has started. Our Leeds and Bradford Branch Representative, Richard “Manny” Manton, and political officer Marcus Houlden have worked tirelessly with Leeds City Council, on behalf of our members to bring the trial forward. We know Kirkstall Road is often an area of high traffic congestion during peak hours and having access to the bus lane is a positive step.
“At MAG, we’re confident the conclusions of the trial will be positive and hope for a city wide roll out to help reduce car use in the city. We hope the trial will lead to a change in bus lane use across the city, which could make motorcycling more accessible, and a convenient alternative to private car vehicle use. We recognise the importance of public transport and active travel but believe motorcycles offer a flexible solution to timetabled services and don’t rely on the user’s physical ability as much as active transport.”
If you would like to learn more about the trial or read some tips for using the bus lane safely for your journey, visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/MotorcycleTrial