Bus lanes - Sue
Can anyone out there tell me why bus drivers don't always use these?

There is a stretch in Bristol approaching the Centre which is usually empty while the bus I am on sits in a traffic jam in the adjoining lane.

And I drove across central London on Sunday evening, following a bus which was studiously avoiding the empty bus lane to our left.

I have no objection per se to bus lanes because I am a bus user (and pedestrian) as well as a driver. And I know that some of the rush hour bus lanes are used for parking outside peak hours.

But if it's empty, and the traffic is moving slowly alongside the bus lane, why don't the bus drivers use them?
Re: Bus lanes - Andy
There's probably been a local government memo telling them to do this. Why? To annoy the backsides off the motorists!
Re: Bus lanes - Martyn (Back Room moderator)
I can think of two reasons why this might be, though neither of them may apply in the case you're talking of, Sue.

First, it's often quite difficult to get out of the bus lane and cross the other lanes of traffic to make a right turn; so the bus driver makes a trade-off and puts up with slow crawling in the midst of general traffic. An example in London might be buses going down Whitehall and wanting to turn right at Parliament Square towards Victoria. It can take upwards of twenty minutes to escape from the bus lane on the left.

Second, only those buses engaged in what's known as 'stage carriage operation' are permitted to use bus lanes. So, for example, a long-distance coach is infringing the rules if it uses a bus lane. (This was certainly the case a few years ago, but might have been relaxed more recently.)
Re: Bus lanes - Bob H
Sue,
I work in central London and have not noticed this with empty Bus lanes.

Mind you the Bus lanes, particularly in the rush hour, are used as loading bays by white van man and it is usually impossible to get in them for more than a few yards. Once the bus is in the bus lane it is often difficult to get out of it to pass the parked van; most London drivers do not let anyone in if they can help it. Could that be the reason?
Bob H
Re: Bus lanes - Sue
Martyn (Back Room moderator) wrote:

> it's often quite difficult to get out of the bus lane
> and cross the other lanes of traffic to make a right turn;

This may be the reason in Bristol: the bus lane and two 'open' lanes hit the fiasco known as 'The Centre' at traffic lights. Straight ahead is buses only, but several buses need the middle of three lanes.

Bob H wrote:
> Mind you the Bus lanes, particularly in the rush hour, are
> used as loading bays by white van man and it is usually
> impossible to get in them for more than a few yards. Once the
> bus is in the bus lane it is often difficult to get out of it
> to pass the parked van; most London drivers do not let anyone
> in if they can help it. Could that be the reason?

Not late on a Sunday evening!

I don't dispute this unwillingness to give way, but I do find it hard to understand. I give way to buses, through a mixture of courtesy and a recognition that they are a lot bigger than my vehicle!

Perhaps it's because in my early days of driving it was my job to file the accident reports for a London council's vehicle fleet, primarily composed of bin lorries. I decided then NEVER to argue with a bin lorry of any description, because it seemed that a bin lorry could pretty well flatten a car without a scratch, sometimes - allegedly - without realising anything had happened. I have never regretted this policy!
Re: Bus lanes - Martyn [Back Room moderator]
Sue wrote:
>

> Perhaps it's because in my early days of driving it was my
> job to file the accident reports for a London council's
> vehicle fleet, primarily composed of bin lorries. I decided
> then NEVER to argue with a bin lorry of any description,
> because it seemed that a bin lorry could pretty well flatten
> a car without a scratch, sometimes - allegedly - without
> realising anything had happened. I have never regretted this
> policy!

Well, my response was from my early days of driving, when I was a bus driver, and when I filled out similar accident report forms by the dozen.
Re: Bus lanes - Brian
Can anyone tell me why car drivers do not use bus lanes outside of the hours when the restrictions are in force.
Is it because the notices anouncing the times when they operate are so small that drivers cannot read them as well as concentrating on the road, so they play safe and avoid them 24/24?
Re: Bus lanes - Stuart B
Brian,
I try and use them BUT you then have to dive in and out because of the parked cars. Then you find the folks who did not use the bus lane try and block you in due to some strange desire to be total gits.
Funny old world isn't it.
Stuart
Re: Bus lanes - Kev
Why can we not have car lanes anyway? For cars wanting to go somewhere? Wouldn't this be a good idea? Cut pollution, everyone knows a car running stationary is pointless, or am I being silly?
Kev
 

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