Bus lane times to be extended on busy road to help public transport users
New bus lanes timings on a section of Great Northern Road on the approach to the Haudagain Roundabout in Aberdeen, will come into effect from Monday 22 June 2015.
The afternoon timing will be extended from the current 4pm-6pm to cover the period 3pm-6.30pm on the bus lane, which is operational Monday-Saturday between Station Road and the Haudagain Roundabout. The morning timing will remain 7.30am-9.30am.
The introduction of the new timing was agreed by Aberdeen City Council's Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee in January after council officers conducted bus lane surveys on Great Northern Road in September and October 2014.
The surveys were carried out following a request from bus operators and the Local Authority and Bus Operator Forum (LABOF) to consider the benefits to bus passengers if the hours were extended. This was in response to anecdotal evidence that the traditional peak traffic periods were spreading and that buses were being held up in congestion during those hours when the bus lanes was not in operation. The Executive Group of LABOF requested that evidence be gathered in the form of queue length surveys.
The survey revealed that between 3pm-4pm the average queue length was 160m in the offside lane, the equivalent to approximately 32 car lengths - with the longest queue noted at 3.25pm of around 300m, approximately 60 car lengths. The evening surveys carried out between 6pm-7pm found there were no significant queues and that there were no delays to buses.
Consideration was also given to extending the length of the bus lane on Great Northern Road but officers found that it would not benefit public transport as vehicle queues did not extend past the current bus lane between 3pm-4pm and 6pm-7pm.
Convener of the Communities, Housing and Infrastructure Committee Councillor Neil Cooney said: "Bus lanes help to tackle congestion as well as improve public transport reliability. Research carried out showed that extending the bus lane timings will stop buses from being caught up in traffic and improve journey times."
New signage on Great Northern Road is in place to advise road users of the new bus lane timing.