Trial scheme opens up Sheffield bus lanes

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Bus lanes in Sheffield could be made available to motorists with passengers and delivery drivers as part of a trial scheme. Sheffield Council has received £80,000 of local transport funding to investigate the feasibility of the changes which could be implemented before the end of the year. Specific routes have not yet been confirmed but busy A roads including Abbeydale Road, Chesterfield Road, Ecclesall Road and Savile Street have been proposed.

Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment and transport, Cllr Leigh Bramall, said: “With the start of work on the £2 billion highways upgrade from August, we recognise increased levels of congestion will be very likely over the next few years.

“Allowing cars with two occupants or more into bus lanes is something which goes on in other cities and would encourage car sharing with family or friends, which is good for the city’s environment. We also want to minimise the impact of congestion on businesses.

Cllr Bramall said the council has consulted with bus companies and the city’s Motorists’ Forum.

“Motorists’ Forum members say they are concerned about the effect of congestion, particularly on delivery drivers. There is spare capacity on bus lanes which could be utilised to benefit commuters,” Coun Bramall said.

The council said enforcement would be ‘necessary’ to ensure the scheme worked properly. Bus lanes opened up for shared occupancy cars and delivery vehicles would be monitored by a new portable bus lane camera which is being bought by the council.