Bus Lanes – The Mysteries Explained by cyclophile Andrew Montague

Dear Julie,

I chair the Cycling Forum of Dublin City Council (and also the Traffic and Transport Committee).

We get lots of complaints from cyclists about buses passing out the cyclists without leaving enough room. This commonly happens in bus lanes.

At the moment there are three standard bus lanes based on the width of the lane.

1) 3 metres wide. These are the narrowest bus lanes. Buses and bikes can use them, but there is no room for either buses or bikes to pass each other inside the lane. If they want to pass out, they have to move into the outside lane. These lanes are considered to be safe, because they discourage buses from squeezing past the cyclists.

2) 4.5 metres wide. This is the best width, and will always be used if there is enough space. There is plenty of room for the bus to pass the bike or for the bike to pass the bus without any danger.

3) Bus lanes that are somewhere between 3 metres and 4.5 metres. These bus lanes encourage buses to pass the bikes, even though there is not enough room for the buses to get past. There are a lot of these bus lanes, but we now know that they are the most dangerous type, so we are not going to put them in any more. We have to use either a 3m lane or a 4.5m lane. We won’t be using the in-between type in future.

I don’t know all the details of the Navan Road bus lane, but there must not be enough room for a 4.5m lane, so they are installing a 3m lane. The old in-between lane is just too dangerous.


On 26 Oct 2010, at 21:42, Julie Regan wrote:

> Dear Sir/Madam,
> Firstly, I would like to question why there is absolutely no mention
> of
changes to the cycle lane in the site notices for the QBC on the Navan Road.
> Secondly, I would like to raise a question on the issue of safety for
cyclists. As I understand it having spoken to Paul Carroll of the QBN office, the existing cycle lane will no longer be there as it will be amalgamated with the bus lane. Paul Carroll made it clear that there won’t be room for a bus to safely pass a cyclist and that the buses will in theory have to wait until it is safe to overtake the cyclist. This surely puts the cyclists’ safety in the hands of bus drivers. If the bus driver does not see the cyclist or makes an error of judgement, it could prove fatal for the cyclist.
> Amalgamating a cycle lane with a bus lane is hardly likely to
> encourage
parents to allow their children to cycle to school (of which there are several both primary and secondary) or to the amenities (planned or
existing) in the Navan Road area. The Navan Road is also within easy cycling distance to the planned Grangegorman Campus.
> The Navan Road is much more than an arterial route as I have heard it
referred to by planners. It is a place where people live and a local route to many amenities. Surely there is a safer alternative that would encourage more cyclists and not less.
> Regards
> Julie Regan