Thursday, 8 January 2009

Will Boris's motorbike trial be given an easy ride?

Boris it seems, is quite proud of his motorbikes in bus lanes trail. So proud in fact that he congratulated himself for it long before before it even came in.

Further signs of his pleasure came today as reported by Dave Hill:

I hadn't realised until I'd browsed a few more sites quite how, well, quasi-corporate the launch of the mayor's bikers-in-bus-lanes pilot had been. I've no problem with Honda UK organising a celebratory convergence on Wembley's Ace Cafe, but was it right for Kulveer Ranger to not only take part in the event but, apparently, "lead the ride" with Honda UK's general manager? How confident can we be that the conduct and assessment of the trial will be objective when the mayor's transport director seems to have made so crystal clear what outcome he'd prefer?

Well. Quite.

But then it kind of assumes that Boris gives a stuff about the result of the trial anyway. I mean can you really see it going now it's here? 

I mean what kind of mass chaos or disaster would need to ensue for Boris to scrap this policy after 18 months? Can you see it happening?

Still, there's a survey up if you want to add your voice to those of Kulveer and his convoy, but really what is the point?

Because all Londoners may be equal, but some consultations:

Are more equal than other consulatations:


prj45 said...

What result?

I've not seen any indication whatsoever of how this "trial" is being monitored or how it will be assessed when the "trial" period is complete.

By definition allowing motorcycles in bus lanes will increase motorcyclist on cyclist collisions in bus lanes, so to me the question is how many more collisions will be acceptable, that's if they're even recorded?

prj45 said...

What results?

I've seen no indication of any monitoring going on during this "trial".

Also, by definition allowing motorcycles in bus lanes where they were not allowed before will increase motocyclsit on cyclist collisions, the question is what's an acceptable level, that's if such collisions are even recorded.

AdamB said...

The full details can be found here.

It's all a bit vague. Apparently: "monitoring, analysis and evaluation of the scheme will be carried out for the duration of the eighteen-month experimental traffic order. TfL will make evidence-based recommendations to the Mayor who will then make the final decision."

Whatever that means. I don't know whether cyclist/motorcyclist collisions are specifically recorded although I wouldn't be surprised as cyclist/bendy bus ones have been. I think the main result they will be looking for is the result of the consultation(survey) which as we have seen in the past will mostly be done by those with a vested interest not everyday road users. So that's the motorcycle lobby and the likes of the LCC. Which is the more numerous group and the more motivated to respond? Will it make any difference?

Anonymous said...

I suggest that some of you journalists ask some more detailed questions about how this is going to be monitored and evaluated. It is important to ask now rather than at the end of the trial (when it will be too late to have much influence on the type of avaluation or the result).

Is it going to be evaluated on the basis of accidents or on the basis of perceptions of risk by the various groups involved? If it is going to be about perceptions, how is that going to be done (on the basis of people writing in or the relative noise of different interest groups or through random surveys or focus group discussions)? How will the perceptions of different groups be weighted: how will x cyclists saying that they feel less safe be weighted against against y motor-cyclists saying that they feel safer?

The A23 trial seems to have tried to evaluate on the basis of accidents but the problem is that the numbers are low so the confidence levels of the results are low. This is why the results of the A23 weren't published: they weren't supressed, there were just too many statistical doubts. It is therefore quite valid to ask whether people feel safer or less safe, but the sampling has to be scientific. The questionnaire on the TfL website is OK (apart from ending sentences in prepositions) but as it stands it seems to depend on people being motivated to find it and fill it in (which is highly unreliable as a method of guaging opinion).


AdamB said...

These are all excellent points and suggestions Guano. I'm going to seek some more specifics from TfL. You can also email me about this (and the A23 trial) if you have any other thoughts or anything else that you think I should put to them.

Mathew said...

LCC have launched "Bus lane watch"

AdamB said...

Thanks Matthew. I've been meaning to get in contact with LCC about all this. Please get in touch if you're reading.

Oh, and I should be getting some answers from TFL soon as well.

Motorcycle Sales Training said...

How long is the trial period?