As Coventry City Council marches full speed ahead with its drastic bus lane axe tomorrow, next week sees the final two sessions of the public inquiry into the local plan. Some fundamental questions remain unanswered:

  1. How can any of the council’s figures be robust, now that bus lane removal has started (as of Friday 13th)?
  2. How can the council still refer to bus lane removal as a mere “trial”, when the Cabinet Member has full delegated authority to remove all bus lanes?
  3. How can the council promote bus rapid transit and slash bus lanes at the same time – this approach is entirely inconsistent.
  4. How can a “growing city” expand without putting more emphasis on space efficient modes of transport, and especially on buses and cycling?
  5. Why has no consideration been made for the dangers which cyclists now face, even during the “trial” period?
  6. How can the local policy of making walking, cycling and bus usage the “default choice” for journeys up to 5km now be upheld?
  7. How can new developments be set up with attractive bus provision, if they are at the far reaches of the bus network, yet they no longer have the time saving of using bus lanes?
  8. What does the council mean by “balancing the needs” of road users? Is there any evidence base to support this, or is this just transport populism?
  9. Why is the council only using one city (Liverpool) in its transport modelling in respect of bus lanes? Why have no other cities been looked at?
  10. Why is there no mention at all of the bus lane axe in the recently update transport modelling documents?

One thought on “Coventry Bus Lanes – so many unanswered questions

  1. From the minutes of the WMCA of 5th December 2016 (included in the agenda pack for the 20th Jan 2017 meeting).

    56/16 Any Other Business
    (a) Coventry Bus Lane Review
    The committee considered a report of the Managing Director, Transport for West Midlands, on the review of bus lanes within Coventry that had Members of the committee reviewed the revised list of bus lanes proposed for the trial and considered the measures of success and failure as detailed in the report. In respect of air quality, it was considered that this was an important area to be assessed, although it was recognised that this was an area for Coventry City Council to consider as the air quality monitoring authority for Coventry.
    Resolved that;
    (1) The work undertaken with Coventry City Council, the assurances sought
    and agreed regarding the approach and management of the review,
    including the mitigation measures for monitoring the impact of the trial
    and what was deemed as success or failure, be noted;
    (2) The revised list of bus lanes proposed for the trial through joint
    consultation with Coventry City Council and bus operators which
    represents approximately 25% of the city’s bus lanes, be endorsed, and
    these sections of route be monitored to ensure a consistent approach
    was taken to evaluating benefits and dis-benefits to car and bus journey
    times for customers;
    (3) The agreement to extend the period of objection for an Experimental
    Traffic Regulation Order from six months to eight months, so that a full
    assessment could be made whilst the results of the trial were analysed,
    and still allowing for formal objection if appropriate, be recognised and
    endorsed;
    (4) The measures of success and failure shown in paragraph 18, which
    ensure that all parties were clear about what the objectives were, be
    agreed; and
    (5) The Transport for West Midlands’ commitment to collating and sharing
    all appropriate bus based data, and to provide representation at the
    various boards and forums to support the trial, be supported.

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