HGVs in bus lanes

The meeting of the Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee [HATOC] held on 19 April 2012 received a report on the issue of HGV movements around the city.

The report highlights that HGVs are currently able to use some bus lanes in the city. By keeping larger vehicles such as buses and HGVs moving, it helps reduce the impact of emissions on air quality.

The report went on to recommend that a consistent approach is adopted across other city centre radial routes to help manage congestion and improve air quality and proposed advertising a Traffic Regulation Order [TRO] to amend the Cowick Street, Fore Street Heavitree and Pinhoe Road bus lanes to allow HGVs to use them during their times of operation

Minute 130   records that it was RESOLVED:
(b) that traffic regulation orders to revoke the Exeter wide lorry ban and to allow HGVs in bus lanes on Cowick Street, Fore Street (Heavitree) and Pinhoe Road at an estimated cost of 15,000 be advertised and made and sealed if there are no significant objections;

As you can image, this sparked some debate at last night’s meeting of Exeter Cycle Forum!

The immediate reaction was that, because Exeter’s bus lanes are mostly too narrow, any HGV that was behind a bicycle would not be able to overtake. Members of the Forum felt there is more danger where the width encourages dangerously close passing.

Also, most cyclists who were there felt that HGV drivers are so used to not being allowed into bus lanes in every other city that they don’t actually realise there are Exeter bus lanes where this is permitted.

All were pleased to be able to contribute to the proposed consultation when the TRO was advertised.

These views are summarised in the minutes of the meeting.