Hackney and Islington bus lanes set to be enforced 24/7 in trial amid pandemic

The 24 hour bus lane trial is part of a raft of measures TfL is inroducing in the wake of the corona

The 24 hour bus lane trial is part of a raft of measures TfL is inroducing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: TfL - Credit: Archant

Bus lanes in Hackney and Islington will become operational 24/7 as part of a trial to encourage public transport use as the Covid-19 lockdown is lifted.

Transport for London (TfL) is testing lengthening the hours bus lanes are enforced to accommodate those who wish to avoid the network at its busiest in peak times.

Bus lanes on TfL’s 80km of London Red Routes will start to be converted from 13 September, with all affected routes revised by the end of the month.

Roads affected in Hackney are City Road, Clapton Common, Kingsland High Street, Kingsland Road, Lower Clapton Road, Old Street, Rectory Road, Seven Sisters Road, Stamford Hill, Stoke Newington High Street, Stoke Newington Road and Upper Clapton Road.

Impacted Islington streets are Camden Road, City Road, Holloway Road, Isledon Road, Parkhurst Road, Seven Sisters Road, Tollington Road, Upper Street and White Lion Street.

READ MORE: Plans to transform Green Lanes with segregated cycle track revealed by Hackney CouncilDrivers breaking the rules could receive a fine of £130.

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The changes will be in place for 18 months, during which a review will consider safety, journey time, effects on other traffic and the impact on people protected by the Equality Act 2010.

These plans were announced in July, with TfL reporting positive feedback.

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TfL aims to tackle an expected surge in car-use as the lockdown is further lifted, with improved bus journey times designed to encourage drivers back to public transport instead.

It has cited analysis suggesting if previous public transport users turn to driving, traffic levels in central London could double.

A single-decker bus carries 10 times the average number of people in a car, even with current restrictions due to social distancing, but only uses twice the space of a car.

Claire Mann, director of bus operations at TfL, said: “This pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to the way we all live, work and travel, and the trial of 24-hour bus lanes is an important way that we have adapted the transport network to respond to the pandemic and help London to recover in a sustainable way.”

Blue Badge parking will not be affected by the trial and signage will advertise the changes.

Cllr Caroline Russell (Highbury East, Green) said: “It is so inefficient that buses get held up by (often single occupancy) cars.

“It may make driving a bit less convenient but that may discourage people from making short local trips by car.

“Most households in Islington and Hackney don’t have access to a car or van so this will be hugely helpful to many residents.”

Comment during the trial at https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/buses/better-bus-journeys.

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