Motorbikes to use Kirkstall Road bus lanes as part of Leeds council trial

Motorcyclists in Leeds are to be allowed to use the A65 bus lanes between Kirkstall and the city centre as part of a new Leeds council trial.

By Alex Grant
Thursday, 28th July 2022, 12:15 pm

From tomorrow (Friday, July 29) to July 28, 2023, motorbikes (including scooters) in Leeds will be allowed to use the route.

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The 12-month trial period’s aim is to support motorcycling as an alternative to car travel on the corridor and improve safety for motorcyclists.

The move has been welcomed by the Leeds and Bradford branch of the Motorcycle Action Group. Picture: Leeds council

The trial is applicable on both inbound and outbound lanes from the city centre by the TGI Friday’s junction, along Kirkstall on the A65, up to the junction with Butlers Wharf (Kirkstall Forge entrance).

Coun Helen Hayden, executive member for infrastructure and climate, said:

“Our ambition is to become a city where you don’t need a car. Motorcycles emit significantly fewer exhaust emissions than the average car, so are a more attractive choice for singular passenger journeys thereby helping us reduce emissions and congestion for everyone.

"In the longer term, as more electric motorcycles come onto the market, they will help us achieve our decarbonisation targets.”

The move has been welcomed by the Leeds and Bradford branch of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), who have long campaigned for the move.

Leeds's transport vision is for the city to be somewhere where you don’t need a car. Historically this has concentrated primarily on cycling and buses with motorcycles being overlooked.

“We are delighted that this motorcycle bus lane access trial has finally started,” said Manny Manton, Leeds and Bradford MAG branch rep.

“We are confident that the conclusions will be positive and city wide roll out on the successful conclusion of the trial has potential to help achieve the council’s ambitions to reduce car use in the city.”

The council has also committed to providing new parking facilities for motorcyclists in Leeds.

An evaluation of the trial will take place considering motorcyclist’s safety and the impact on other road users, particularly other vulnerable road users and bus passengers.

Coun Hayden added:

“Sharing road space with buses and lower speeded users such as bicycles and pedestrians who are crossing will deserve due diligence from motorcycle users in Leeds and I would urge them to take extra care."

Following the trial period, a decision will be made if this will be a permanent change.