TfL has announced plans to make 24-hour bus lanes permanent across England’s capital, after a trial found that extending bus lane hours on London’s busiest roads cut journey times and helped reliability.
Improvements in bus journey times were particularly noticeable in central and inner London, especially in the mornings and evenings and throughout Sundays.
24-hour bus lanes are also expected to improve service reliability in the longer term which, combined with the reduced journey times, will make bus use more attractive and help encourage more people onto buses.
Before the pandemic 1.15 billion journeys were made each year on the bus routes that have benefited from the changes, out of a total of around 2.2 billion journeys. These improvements are also expected to benefit cyclists as they can ride in bus lanes without traffic.
The changes will be made permanent in the New Year subject to a final statutory consultation with emergency services, local authorities and other statutory consultees.
Welcoming the announcement, Dawn Badminton-Capps, Bus Users Director for England said: ‘Service reliability is one of the top two complaints received by Bus Users, so TfL’s plans to make its trial of 24-hour bus lanes permanent will be very welcome to passengers in London. Improving bus services also encourages modal shift which reduces the number of vehicles on our roads and improves air quality for everyone.”