Tuesday, 8 January 2013

End of a Bus Gate

Coventry Cycling Campaign first complained about the Binley Road (near Hipswell Highway) bus gate in our Winter 2008/9 edition of the Coventry Cyclist.

Bus gates are supposed to assist bus drivers in their attempts to merge into the general traffic stream at the end of bus lanes:

Normally the traffic signals for the bus lane are on red while those on the other lanes show green.
When a bus approaches the gate, the traffic signals for the bus lane turn to green and those on the other lanes turn red. The bus driver can then easily join the general traffic lane.

The problem for cyclists is that the signals for the bus lane are usually on red. A cyclist could get past by darting out of the bus lane, cycling past the lights and then darting back to the left, but that's awkward and hazardous. Alternatively he/she could wait for a bus to come to turn the light green, but that would involve a long wait. What almost always happens is that the cyclist stays in the bus lane and "jumps the lights".

Thankfully the bus gate signals have now been removed:

It's a pity that the council didn't see fit to extend the cycle lane eastwards, past the bus stop, to the bus lane at the River Sowe bridge. Once past the junction motorists in the left hand lane are often too busy trying to filter into the right hand lane to give much attention to cyclists, passing us too closely.