Better bus journeys

Closed 4 Aug 2020

Opened 21 Jul 2020

Overview

Extending bus lane hours to help more people travel safely and reliably

Update 2 September 2020

In July 2020 we announced proposals to trial extending operating hours to all bus lanes on London’s red routes (also known as the Transport for London Road Network or TLRN) to 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We ran a statutory consultation on these proposals from 21 July to 4 August 2020.  During this period, we discussed our proposal with London’s boroughs, and listened to public and stakeholder feedback. We have now reviewed feedback following the statutory consultation and have decided to proceed with this trial. 

From 13 September 2020, bus lane operating hours will change to 24 hours a day, seven days a week on London’s red routes.

For more information on the rationale for the trial and feedback received during the statutory consultation click here.

The bus lanes included in the trial are on red routes located in the boroughs of: Brent, Bromley, City of London, Camden, Croydon, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster. 

Parking bays to be suspended  

Please see the following link detailing which parking bays will be suspended during the trial. Please note that this is subject to change pending final review. On-street signage will also be in place to identify suspended bays.

24 hour bus lane parking suspensions (PDF 71KB)

The trial of 24/7 bus lanes will be in place for at least six months to ensure we have enough time to properly monitor the effectiveness of the trial and any impacts.

We want to hear your experiences  

Whether you’re a bus passenger, a business owner, resident or someone who has been using the bus lanes to cycle more – we want to hear about your experiences once bus lanes on the Transport for London Road Network are operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  

Your feedback will be an important part of our monitoring and evaluation of the trial and will help us decide if any of the bus lanes should permanently operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  

On 13 September we will open an engagement survey on this website.

- update ends -

Everyone needs to find new ways of working and travelling if London is to recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 

Along with London’s boroughs, we want to create more space for people to walk and cycle, and make sure the people who need to travel by public transport can do so safely, efficiently and reliably.  

What we are proposing

As part of London Streetspace programme, we’re proposing to trial changes to the operating hours of more than 80 kilometres of bus lanes across London to make bus journeys faster and more reliable.

Over one billion journeys each year are made on bus routes that will benefit from the trial, which will see the bus lanes operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

The bus lanes included in this proposal are on red routes (the Transport for London Road Network or TLRN) located in the boroughs of: Brent, Bromley, City of London, Camden, Croydon, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster.

On some routes, car-parking will be suspended during the trial, and general traffic will be restricted from using the lane during the off-peak hours. On routes where cyclists, motorcyclists and taxis can use the bus lane during existing hours of operation, this will continue.

We are not proposing to remove any disabled parking bays or blue badge parking facilities as part of the trial.   

All loading facilities will initially be retained during the trial, so businesses can continue their delivery schedules as normal. We will however be monitoring when and how often the loading bays on these routes are used, as well as the type of loading that occurs to understand if they could be moved to other areas.

Why are we proposing this?

Currently, these bus lanes mostly operate in the busiest parts of the day. However, as the city starts moving again, people are changing the times that they choose to travel to avoid peak periods and risk overcrowding on the network.  

We want to make sure that people choosing to travel on the bus network have the safest, quickest and most reliable journey at all times of the day. Our trial to extend bus lanes to 24/7 will mean your bus journey time is more likely to be the same regardless of the time you choose to travel.

As we recover from coronavirus, there is an increasing need to provide more safe space for people to use active, sustainable and socially distant modes of travel. People cycling will also experience significant benefits during the trial; with an extra 80 kilometres of road space away from general traffic to use at all times of the day and night. The proposals will reduce the need for people cycling to weave in and out of the bus lanes, making it safer for everyone using these busy roads.

On some routes where car-parking is being suspended, the proposals will reduce the risk of people cycling and motorcycling being car-doored by parked cars.

Proposals follow recent extensions to bus lane hours that have seen improvements to speeds and reliability. 

How will we make a decision?

We’ll be discussing these proposals with groups across London, including passenger representative groups, the business sector, accessibility and inclusion groups, as well as road safety and road user groups. You can also provide comments on the proposals by emailing: betterbusjourneys@tfl.gov.uk.

We want to understand views on the proposals, whether we might need to make any adjustments to the proposals before we begin the trial and how we can most effectively monitor and evaluate the trial once it is underway.

Whether you’re a bus passenger, a business owner or someone who has been using the bus lanes to cycle more – we also want to hear about your experiences once the trial is underway.

Routes will start to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the end of August. We’ll keep this page updated so you can provide feedback about your experience on a route once the new operating hours begin.

The trial of 24/7 bus lanes is planned to be in place for at least six months to ensure we have enough time to properly monitor the effectiveness of the trial and any impacts, so you can share your views at any time.

At the end of the trial, we’ll decide which bus lanes should be permanently changed to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We'll be making an evaluation based on several different factors including:

  • Feedback from key stakeholders and the community 
  • Bus journey times and reliability 
  • Use of the lanes by people cycling
  • The safety of everyone using bus lanes: bus passengers, motorcycles, taxis and cyclists
  • Impacts of the scheme on other modes of traffic
  • Impact of the scheme on people protected under the Equality Act 2010

Areas

  • Brent
  • Bromley
  • Camden
  • City of London
  • Croydon
  • Enfield
  • Greenwich
  • Hackney
  • Haringey
  • Hounslow
  • Kensington & Chelsea
  • Lambeth
  • Lewisham
  • Merton
  • Southwark
  • Sutton
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Wandsworth
  • Westminster

Audiences

  • Stakeholders

Interests

  • Transport for London Road Network