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Coventry approves removal of bus lanes


08 June 2018

Coventry City Council is to permanently remove 1.6 miles of bus lanes after declaring their trial suspension a success.

The council suspended eight sections of lane last January using an experimental traffic regulation order, saying that doing so would reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality (LTT 16 Dec 16). 

To mitigate the impact on bus services, selective vehicle detection (SVD) has been installed at ten traffic signal-controlled junctions in sections of suspended lane. SVD can extend the green period for an approaching bus or call for a green stage if a bus is approaching a red signal. 

Shamala Evans, Coventry’s highway and network management officer, told councillors that data showed the changes had had no adverse impact on bus operations. 

A monitoring report by the council and Transport for the West Midlands says: “The introduction of bus selected vehicle detection (SVD) priorities and efficiency improvements that have been provided at ten traffic signal junctions located in the sections of suspended bus lanes has contributed to this outcome, but it is not possible to quantify this benefit.”

Journey time monitoring used INRIX data for general vehicles and bus journey time data derived from the VIX ACIS real-time passenger information system supplied by National Express West Midlands.

Evans said no objections to the lane suspensions had been received from bus operators or Transport for the West Midlands.

In all, Coventry has 22 bus lanes totalling about five miles in length. In 2016 the council said all the lanes would be suspended in four phases.

Four more lanes were suspended last September in phase two. Whether the final two phases will be implemented is unclear. A council spokesman told LTT this week: “There are some bus lanes that remain in place where there are specific issues around road safety or there is no benefit to the bus lane being removed.”

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