Proposals to Alter Bus Lanes

A letter from Councillor Millican to Ealing Today

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Ealing Council is taking an active role to enable traffic to move more smoothly along our roads, whether for cars, motorbikes, buses, bicycles or commercial vehicles.

It is also a priority for Ealing Council to promote the use of public transport. We all agree that public transport has the potential to be improved and so the Council is working with public transport providers, such as Transport for London, Network Rail and Crossrail to deliver improvements, including new schemes to increase bus reliability, enhancements at bus stops, and better access to stations.

Many of us use public transport but are also drivers. So we also need to support the reasonable use of cars. If shoppers, customers, commercial delivery vans and lorries do not have ready access to shops and businesses then there will be a negative effect. Our high streets and businesses will suffer and we would all be worse off.

So Ealing Council has been looking seriously at how we can ease congestion for all vehicles on our roads, including cars, vans and buses. Some solutions will become more evident in the long term, whilst others will appear more quickly.

How many times have we been caught, as a driver, on a busy road where two buses are pulled up at bus stops directly opposite each other, allowing barely anyone to get by? So we’ll work with TfL to move some bus stops a few yards to stagger them.

One suggestion might seem counter-intuitive, namely to alter the lengths of the bus lanes, but is actually very positive. Where a bus lane runs right up to a traffic lights junction, it actually clogs the traffic up, whilst not helping the buses. So we’ll adjust the lengths to allow cars and buses through on each traffic light cycle. The “Lido Junction” in west Ealing is a good example of this where there is a lot of traffic turning right. The changes will mean no delay to buses and less delay for cars.

Along the length of the Uxbridge Road there are eight different time restrictions on usage of bus lanes. Eight. How can anyone ever know whether we can or cannot drive in the bus lane? So Ealing Council will bring some order to them by having just three variations. And none will be permanent 24-hour bus lanes. Clearly the idea of bus lanes is to allow buses to run smoothly along our roads, which the changes will support.

We are all pedestrians and so no changes will be made that will have a detrimental effect upon our safety.

This Council is actively responding to the demand by residents for improved transport, and for less congestion, on our roads.

Yours faithfully

Councillor David Millican

Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Transport

Ealing Town Hall


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July 28, 2009

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