Lorries using bus lanes could aid Wales traffic flow

Published: 13 March 2018

Lorries using bus lanes could aid Wales traffic flow
Ken Skates, the transport secretary is considering allowing HGVs onto bus lanes in particular circumstances. Charity organisation for sustainable transport: Sustrans said the plan could endanger the lives of cyclists as well as those on buses/coaches while many haulage firms agreed the concept was “a good idea”.
 
The idea is being discussed between transport organisations, highway management and the Welsh government over the course of 2018. The idea was pitched by Welsh Traffic Commissioner Nick Jones during his first annual report, in which he stated HGVs are “essential for the economy and the provision of services.”
 
The RHA has welcomed the idea with open arms, while mentioning that an investment programme must be maintained on a regular basis to keeps roads and their structures up to the standards that would be required for lorry drivers.
 
Sustrans stated it was concerned over safety implications, as bus lanes are an essential part of the road for cyclists, lowering how exposed they are to other traffic on the road.
 
Natasha Withey, a Sustrans representative, stated: "To improve traffic flow, cities need to reduce the number of vehicles on the road through encouraging more people to use alternative means to get around, not discourage cyclists through making their dedicated infrastructure unsafe."
 
The FTA (Freight Transport Association), who represent firms importing/exporting goods on the road, by flight, shipping and rail said they were “delighted to hear the Welsh Government was considering the proposal”.
 
A spokesman said: "Making better use of valuable road space by allowing trucks to use bus lanes not only eases congestion, but helps to keep delivery costs down and ensures food and other vital supplies arrive on time at our shops and homes, something that benefits everyone."
 
A spokesman from the RHA stated the plan could reduce hold-ups, also commenting: "Only last week during 'snowmageddon' we saw how quickly supermarket shelves emptied because trucks couldn't get through in time."
 
Over the course of 2018 further discussions will be held in regards to the plans, the Traffic Commissioner for Wales will further endorse the plans. He is also responsible for the licensing for drivers of lorries, buses and coaches.
 
Whatever results are set forward from the discussions, the Welsh Government will announce their conclusion early 2019.
 
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