Are Motorcycles Allowed in Bus Lanes?

Many cities across the UK allow motorcycles to use bus lanes due to their impact on reducing pollution and congestion.

Despite the ever-increasing data and ongoing efforts of campaigners, many local councils still fail to see the clear benefits. As a result, the law surrounding the use of motorcycles in bus lanes varies throughout the UK, often leaving riders confused.

There are currently two methods to verify whether a bus lane is open to motorcycles or not. 

The first way, which requires some planning beforehand, is to check the local council’s website. All of the necessary information should be readily available and clearly laid out.

The second, more convenient method is to check the blue bus lane information signs at the side of the road. Bus lanes open to motorcyclists will depict a motorcycle, similar to the images shown below.

bus lane signage

Note: Bus lanes are open to all traffic outside of the listed hours of operation (excluding 24-hour routes).

What Is a Bus Gate?

A bus gate is a restricted section of road that is only accessible to buses, cyclists, emergency services, and other exempt road users.

bus gate

Bus gates are clearly marked using blue circular signs and white road markings. Traffic cameras are used to enforce the restrictions, and any road users who fail to observe and follow them are liable to receive a PCN (penalty charge notice).

Can Motorcycles Use Bus Gates?

Unlike bus lanes, motorcycles are not permitted to use bus gates at any time. Entering a bus gate without permission is against the law and will make you liable to receive a fine.

What Are Red Routes?

Red routes aim to reduce congestion by imposing waiting and loading restrictions during peak times in busy cities.

bus lane red route

Red routes are clearly marked by double red lines next to the kerb and signage alongside the road. Failure to follow the route’s restrictions and road markings could land you with a penalty charge notice.

Can Motorcycles Use Red Routes?

Motorcycles are permitted to use red routes. However, some red routes coincide with bus lanes, so checking the signs and road markings before entering is always recommended.

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has helped shed some light on the confusing laws surrounding bus lanes, gates, and red routes.

Feel free to check out our other articles, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re left with any unanswered questions!