Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

jonnyp42
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Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby jonnyp42 » 15 Dec 2009, 10:22pm

Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after they began sharing London’s bus lanes, according to a report by the capital’s transport authority.

The Transport for London (TfL) study, which was leaked to MCN ahead of publication, examined casualties during the first four months of the 18-month London trial which began in January.

It found there were just three collisions between cycles and motorcycles on the bus lane routes compared to five during the same period the previous year.

Motorcycle and pedestrian collisions stayed the same, at 16 before and after.

The total number of collisions for all road users was also not significantly different, according to the report, with 369 before and 374 after.

The findings do not support predictions from cycle and pedestrian groups that the measure would be bad for their safety.

But interestingly they also don’t indicate a benefit to our safety, with total collisions involving motorcycles rising from 109 before to 124 after.

However the report says the data is inconclusive due the short period covered, adding: ‘It is also not possible to assess whether the collisions occurred in the bus lane or the main carriage way.’

The British Motorcyclists Federation’s Chris Hodder said: “There was a fall in collisions for all road users in an earlier, smaller London trial, so there’s no reason these results should be any different.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, cycle and pedestrian campaigners were unconvinced.

Roger Geffen, campaigns and policy manager for national cycling group CTC, said: “In the light of the report I’ll be asking TfL searching questions about the methodology.”

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive of pedestrian group Living Streets, said: “We still have concerns about motorcyclists being in bus lanes and worry that their presence may impact on more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians…

"This is just an interim report and we look forward to the full results of the trial when the 18 months is over – which we will scrutinise closely to ensure that pedestrians have not been adversely affected in any way.”

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/upload/260857/Interim%20Report_final_November%20_2009.pdf

Don't like the result... question the methodology... interesting....

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby EdinburghFixed » 15 Dec 2009, 11:29pm

I got five heads in a row flipping coins, but after spreading chicken entrails around the garden, this result fell to just three in a row. I couldn't have been more amazed if I tried - who would have thought chicken entrails could result in a 40% drop in heads flipped?

If only we could harness the power of this kind of statistical misuse to fight some kind of public campaign. Oh, wait....

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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby niggle » 16 Dec 2009, 12:30am

As a commuting cyclist and motorcyclist I think that the attitude of some of the militant commuter cyclist brethren to motorcyclists can go as far as blind prejudice. Yes, there are poor motorcyclists and scooter riders, but the complainants are probably failing to notice all those experienced motorcyclists slipping by without drama or impact on others, just like car drivers only notice the aggressive, RLJing cylists whilst failing to take in the courteous and law abiding variety. Bear in mind that the training and testing procedures for gaining a motorcycle license are rather more exacting than for gaining a car license and following on from that experience and further training (more common amongst motorcyclists than car drivers) can hone skills and awareness further, particularly for the regular AWBs (All Weather Bikers).

Add to that a better awareness of the presence of other road users not in a metal box and of our common vulnerability: the comment 'more vulnerable road users' makes no sense at all when accident statistics frequently show that motorcyclists are in the most 'at risk' group of all and in urban areas are more often infringed upon by four wheel vehicle drivers than being at fault in accidents. To be fair the comments in the report were pretty honest about the (lack of) conclusions that can be drawn either way from the available data so far, i.e. both motorcyclists feelings that there has been no increase in risk and cyclists and pedestrians feelings that they are being put at more risk are simply an unproven emotional response, so far.

Just to take playing devil's advocate one step further, what should be done if in the end it is found that the use of bus lanes by motorcyclists causes a slight increase in risk to cyclists, but a significant improvement in the safety of motorcyclists :? :wink:

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Si
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby Si » 16 Dec 2009, 10:23am

jonnyp42 wrote:Don't like the result... question the methodology... interesting....


Strange that you want to use the interim results of an incomplete report when those that are compiling the report themselves say that the results are inconclusive.

jonnyp42 wrote:However the report says the data is inconclusive due the short period covered


and that you question any other party that has a similar view about the results.

It's also a pity that you are unable to understand why the interim results are fairly worthless - the figures being so low as to have little statistical relevance - any change brought about by the bus lane rule would be almost impossible to distinguish from yearly variation. I'd suggest that you go cram up on the use of stats if you want to understand what the report is saying.

Luckily the writers know a bit more about what they are doing...

An informed decision about whether or not motorcycles should be allowed to use most red route bus lanes permanently can only be made when all of the data outlined in Section 2.4 has been collated and analysed. The majority of the data is still being collected so it is not feasible to make an informed decision at this point. Subsequently, there is no reason to conclude that the trial should not continue for the maximum 18 months and end on 5 July 2010.
(my emphasis)

Although it's a bit worrying that they don't appear able to distinguish between incidents within and without the lanes.

As to my opinion- I'm not against or for the allowance of motorcycles in bus lanes at the moment. What I am against is lazy, knee jerk reactions that demonstrate a lack of understanding of the subject in an attempt to have thins your way.

I'm happy to await the results of the study before making a judgement on whether the allowance of motorcycles in bus lanes offers a direct threat to cyclists. However, there is also the possibility of the indirect threat - the study is going to find it hard to pick up on this due to its incident based nature, and it is worrying that the decision might be made without consideration of this. If the perceived thread of motorcycles sharing their space puts people of cycling then, based upon the safety in numbers principle, it will cause danger for cyclists.

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby EdinburghFixed » 16 Dec 2009, 12:39pm

Ultimately I would prefer motorbikes to motorists because the damage that a rider(and his bike) will receive if spilled in a collision, must act in general terms as a brake on their worst excesses. Exactly as it does for cyclists.

They're also able to easily coexist with cyclists space-wise, which removes a lot of the tension.

However, the question of bikes in bus lanes again comes down to whether we want to encourage a modal shift towards motorbikes from other forms of transport (since making conditions better must act as an encouragement) and away from cycling (since however small the effect, it will certainly not *encourage* people to take up cycling just because they are now sharing the facilities with fast-moving motorbikes as well)

That's not an argument I've really heard articulated.

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Si
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby Si » 16 Dec 2009, 1:35pm

They're also able to easily coexist with cyclists space-wise, which removes a lot of the tension.


I don't think that that one is cut and dried yet.... motorcycles can squeeze through smaller gaps than cars, so just because you've positioned yourself such that a car can't try and squeeze past it doesn't mean that you might not suddenly have a fast moving motorcycle inches from your elbow. Studies such as the one mentioned may demonstrate whether or not this possibility is a real threat to the safety of the cyclists, but will not necessarily demonstrate if it is a threat to the perceived safety of the cyclist - thus deterring him/her from using that bus lane route again.

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meic
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby meic » 16 Dec 2009, 2:54pm

As a cyclist and even longer standing motorcyclist (ex city despatch rider) and someone who doesnt care if motorcyclists are or are not allowed in these lanes.
I can say this "evidence" doesnt show a thing. So I will continue not to care either way.
I have despatched in Bristol where to the best of my knowledge this has always been the case and many other cities where it is not. Just because you are legally allowed to use the bus lanes it doesnt make it any safer to do so. The cars still act as if nobody is on them.

My own impression (and it is nothing more and would like some evidence of what actually does occur) is that it would cause a DECREASE in cyclist injuries and an INCREASE in motorcyclist injuries.
Why? because more motorcyclists will be riding where cars do not expect them and because of those motorcyclists a few more motorists and pedestrians will expect something in those lanes.
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essexman
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby essexman » 17 Dec 2009, 2:40pm

Theres a long bit of stationary traffic that myself and some motorcyclists regularly overtake by filtering on the right. I have to take care when pulling out and maneuvering but on the whole i prefer them there. They are more intimidating to a driver than a bike. They also stop it just being a cyclist thing to do. I now some drivers get very irate about being overtaken.
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby niggle » 17 Dec 2009, 5:21pm

Si wrote:
They're also able to easily coexist with cyclists space-wise, which removes a lot of the tension.


I don't think that that one is cut and dried yet.... motorcycles can squeeze through smaller gaps than cars, so just because you've positioned yourself such that a car can't try and squeeze past it doesn't mean that you might not suddenly have a fast moving motorcycle inches from your elbow.


A motorcyclist passing a cyclist can see the gap between themselves and the cyclist throughout the manoeuvre and is almost as likely to get hurt in the event of a collision, plus the damage to their bike is quite likely to be more expensive. In the last eighteen months of cycling I can only remember one really bad pass by a motorcyclist and I always give cyclists plenty of room when passing them on my scooter, generally its relatively easy to do so. In the event of a collision with another cyclist the chances of getting compensation for damages is pretty small whereas a motorcyclist should have insurance.

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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby niggle » 17 Dec 2009, 5:24pm

Si wrote:Studies such as the one mentioned may demonstrate whether or not this possibility is a real threat to the safety of the cyclists, but will not necessarily demonstrate if it is a threat to the perceived safety of the cyclist - thus deterring him/her from using that bus lane route again.


Should we ban one group of road users from a road space because of the unfounded fears of another group?

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EdinburghFixed
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby EdinburghFixed » 17 Dec 2009, 5:32pm

I think you got it the wrong way around - nobody is being banned. On the contrary we are discussing whether to allow a group into a protected area, currently set aside for mass transit and human-powered vehicles. Surely the effect on the existing users of the area *is* very important when deciding whether to allow it?

Myself I can't imagine it will have much directly observable effect- existing cyclists are already used to dicing with traffic and motorcyclists are unlikely to go out of their way to have a spill.

Whether seeing motorbikes whipping past in the bus lane will put off *prospective* cycle journeys, is a very reasonable concern but I don't know how we'd measure it!

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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby niggle » 17 Dec 2009, 6:11pm

EdinburghFixed wrote:I think you got it the wrong way around - nobody is being banned. On the contrary we are discussing whether to allow a group into a protected area, currently set aside for mass transit and human-powered vehicles. Surely the effect on the existing users of the area *is* very important when deciding whether to allow it?

Myself I can't imagine it will have much directly observable effect- existing cyclists are already used to dicing with traffic and motorcyclists are unlikely to go out of their way to have a spill.

Whether seeing motorbikes whipping past in the bus lane will put off *prospective* cycle journeys, is a very reasonable concern but I don't know how we'd measure it!


I see what you mean but then, in some places at least, the history is of a ban which has since been temporarily lifted and may be reinstated. I have similar thoughts to yours re. observable effect. Also worth noting that the more safety conscious motorcyclists, instructors, IAM types, etc., are less than convinced about the benefits of riding in bus lanes anyway; there are perceived risks such as due to vehicles from the main carriageway crossing their paths blindly at left turns etc. and I have seen at least one anecdotal account of this actually happening, though an accident was avoided. Add to that the potential sideswipe from a taxi pulling across to the pavement for instance.

Pete Owens
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby Pete Owens » 17 Dec 2009, 10:06pm

tis curious that the motorcyclists seem more concerned about a reduction of 2 in the cyclist casualty figures rather than the 25 more motorcycling casualies.

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Simon L6
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby Simon L6 » 1 Jan 2010, 7:35pm

niggle wrote:
Si wrote:Studies such as the one mentioned may demonstrate whether or not this possibility is a real threat to the safety of the cyclists, but will not necessarily demonstrate if it is a threat to the perceived safety of the cyclist - thus deterring him/her from using that bus lane route again.


Should we ban one group of road users from a road space because of the unfounded fears of another group?

yes - although I don't accept that it is unfounded. Cyclists matter. They are the future of London's commuting. Motorcyclists are an irrelevance. They are not numerous, and the environmental benefits of motorcycling are nothing or less than nothing. If the presence of motorcyclists in bus lanes discourages people from cycling that's good enough reason to ban them. That may be unfair, but streets serve a purpose, and if motorcyclists, for whatever reason, defeat that purpose, then they're going to have to join the rest of the traffic outside of the red tarmac.

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meic
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Re: Collisions between motorcycles and cycles fell 40% after the

Postby meic » 2 Jan 2010, 12:03am

Motorcycles have little environmental benefit. Although in towns and cities their mpgs dont plummet like cars do.
However they do cause much less congestion. It appears that in London congestion gets more attention from the powers that be than CO2 does.
and parking.
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