London bus lanes to operate 24/7 to support shift in travel times

Bus lanes in London are to be operational at all times under a plan to support passengers travelling outside peak hours.

Transport for London said extending their hours will “help guard against a damaging car-led recovery” by making bus journey times more reliable and improve safety for cyclists.

A trial of the measure will take place in late summer.

Bus lanes can be used by all vehicles when they are not operational, which is generally outside peak travel times.

TfL said it is planning to change the rules as demand for buses is “spreading throughout the day” as part of a shift away from travel at traditional rush hours.

Its figures show that in 2018/19, some 1.15 billion journeys were made on bus routes that would benefit from the proposed amendment.

When they are operational, many bus lanes in the capital can be used by motorbikes and bicycles as well as buses.

TfL’s director of bus operations Claire Mann said: “This pandemic has changed the way we all live, work and travel.

“For that reason, we need to adapt our network, be flexible and continue to help people travel safely and reliably as London gets back on its feet.

“The proposed changes to the operational hours of bus lanes will have significant benefits for bus passengers and people cycling beyond the current hours of operation, many of which were introduced years ago in a very different situation.

“We will carefully consider all feedback to ensure the trial has the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people and supports London’s recovery from coronavirus.”