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Motorcycles are set to be allowed to use bus lanes in Edinburgh, joining buses, bicycles and taxis.


Edinburgh City Council's transport and environment committee has voted to accept a trial period of 18 months, during which motorcyclists would be granted full access to the city's 30 miles of bus lanes. The trial is planned to start in June 2015, with a review after nine months.


Welcoming the news, the British Motorcyclists Federation (BMF) said that representatives of the BMF and the Edinburgh & District Motorcycle Action Group had worked with officers and councillors of Edinburgh City Council for ten years to achieve this trial.


Edinburgh will become the first city in Scotland to allow motorbikes in bus lanes. Similar access is offered in other UK cities: in London, for example, two trials resulted in Transport for London (TfL) deciding to give motorcycles permanent access to bus lanes on most of the capital's red routes. The benefits include reduced journey times for motorcyclists and lower carbon dioxide emissions, TfL said.


Brighton is currently trialling the use of bus lanes by motorcyclists. Other cities that offer full or partial motorcycle access to their bus lanes include Belfast, Plymouth, Bristol, Reading and Newcastle.


Commenting on the plans in Edinburgh, Councillor Lesley Hinds, Transport Convener, said: "Given the relatively small proportion of motorcycles on Edinburgh's roads and the fact that motorcyclists themselves believe using bus lanes would make their journeys both safer and quicker, we think this change should have little or no impact on other bus lane users."



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