Bus and Tram Express
Bus and Tram Express

An increase in cyclists causes frustration for drivers

May 15, 2012News

Ash Sarker delegate at Tempe has reported that there is some confusion amongst drivers about cyclists and bus lanes.

Drivers are becoming frustrated with cyclists in the bus lane, but the RTA confirms that buses, taxis, hire cars, emergency vehicles, motorcycles and bicycles are all allowed to use the lanes.

“As more and more people ride bikes to commute to work it’s a situation where bus drivers and cyclists need to learn to share the road,” said Ash.

The problem says, Wendy Wirth from Waverly depot, is that bicycles have no number plates and drivers have no recourse when cyclists are deliberately disruptive or aggressive to buses.

The STA has received complaints from cyclists about drivers becoming aggressive towards cyclists in the bus lanes and drivers are being hauled in by management to answer these claims.

“Drivers often feel that management always sees drivers as being at fault no matter what happens – and even if nothing happens at all,” says Wendy.

Incidents with cyclists include riding in front of the bus as an act of road rage, hurling abuse, or objects at the driver, spitting or ripping off mirrors.

One of the main problems is when a rider is going 20kph or less in a bus lane at peak hour causing the trip to run late, which has a knock-on effect for the next trip. Sometimes it means buses running late for the whole half days work.

“It’s especially frustrating when drivers know there are bike lane alternatives nearby and that cyclists are choosing not to use them,” explains Wendy. “For example, Oxford street has a bus lane am peak and pm peak. Moore Park Road, next to Oxford Street, has a bike lane. Buses don’t have any routes on Moore Park Road so the buses and bicycles would be separated.”

Despite the difficulty around sharing bus lanes with cyclists, it is important to remember that they are legally able to be in the bus lane so where possible drivers should seek to give cyclists a wide birth.