Push for sharing of bus lanes

TRAFFIC congestion on the Hills M2 could be alleviated by allowing motorcycles to share the bus lane.

This is the view of Motorcycle Council of NSW chairman, Christopher Burns.

"There's no doubt about it, if they allowed motorcycles to use the M2 bus corridor, that would relieve a lot of congestion," Mr Burns said.

He cited a study by the Melbourne-based arm of European group Transport and Mobility Leuven as proof.

It suggested a 10 per cent modal shift from cars to motorcycles would reduce congestion at traffic pinch points by 40 per cent, with a consequential 6 per cent reduction in greenhouse emissions.

The council raised its concerns with Transport for NSW as part of the NSW Long-term Transport Master Plan 2012 consultation, but to no avail.

A Roads and Maritime Services spokeswoman said: "Feedback from bus companies and drivers identified concerns that motorcyclists' use of the bus-only lane would be a safety hazard — to both motorcyclists and buses associated with frequent movements of motorcyclists in and out of the M2 bus only lanes — in a high-speed environment."

For the quarter October 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012, there were 140,173 registered vehicles in The Hills local government area, including:

■ 3808 motorcycles — up 168 compared with the same time in 2011;

■ 184 scooters — up 10 on same time in 2011;

■ 80,715 passenger vehicles;

■ 27,330 off-road vehicles.

There were a further 117,182 registered vehicles in the Hornsby local government area for the same period, including 3365 motorcycles and 166 scooters.

NSW motorcycle registrations have doubled in the past decade. But there are also a lot of latent licences.

"A lot of people get their licence and then stop for whatever reason — get pregnant, don't like it, had a bad experience," Mr Burns said.

In the five years to June 2012, there were 201 reported crashes involving motorcycles in The Hills, of which four involved fatalities.

There were also 183 injury crashes reported to the RMS.

Fifty of the crashes — 24.9 per cent — had speed noted as a contributing factor.

"Motorcycles in The Hills are not any more of a problem than cars," said Hills Highway Patrol sergeant Robert Toynton.

Have you considered swapping your car for a motorbike?

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