Monday, 15 September 2014

Decision coming on bus lanes

The City Council's Cabinet is due to decide what to do about Liverpool's bus lanes when it meets on 10 October.

Before then there'll be a meeting for further comments and discussion.  You can see the paperwork for the earlier meeting , which takes place on 22 Sept, at this link.

I sent in a comment about the bus lane suspension when it first happened.  I felt, and still do, that some bus lanes are needed to make sure that those relying on public transport can get around as quickly as possible.  Clearly some lanes were pointless.  The one at Horrocks Avenue springs to mind.  But others were doing a job.  I felt that the Council should have looked at bus lanes in groups rather than closing the lot of them down all at once like that.  However we are where we are.

Two things spring to mind from reading the papers available.  Firstly, the officers writing the paper seem very keen to rebut points made by some.  Their response to points made about cycling is a good example of this.  Cyclists know the bus lanes were not ideal, but there is no guarantee that better provision is near and with cycling being encouraged more in Liverpool, the bus lanes at least would have provided some feeling of protection. (I have, I will admit, gone onto the pavement in a couple of places recently because of the level of traffic in what was the bus lane). The report talks about the width of the bus lanes not meeting the Council's aspirations for cyclists.  Fair enough but this is only meaningful if those aspirations are about to become a reality and it is the bus lanes preventing them doing that.

Secondly, there has been some work done which will result in a second report.  For some bizarre reason this report is secret until October (ie until after people have a chance to speak at the 22 September meeting).  The reason for this secrecy revolves around people making up their mind before the Cabinet meets.  I will be amazed if many of the Cabinet haven't already made up their mind but it seems very odd for a report paid for by the public purse and as part of a decision making process is withheld from part of that process.  It will be interesting to see if anyone challenges this.

Looking at the paperwork, more comments were received complaining about the removal of bus lanes than saying it was a good idea.  Because names and addresses are blanked out though it's impossible to see how many of these comments are from organisations (and therefore representing more people) and how many are from individuals.

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