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Author Topic: Should electric cars be allowed to use bus lanes?  (Read 1790 times)
grahame
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« on: October 23, 2019, 06:54:27 am »

From the BBC

Quote
Drivers of electric cars across the UK may soon be using special green number plates under new plans.

The aim is to make it possible for local authorities to allow zero-emission vehicles to benefit from incentives such as cheaper parking.

The government hopes it will boost electric car sales, helping it achieve its 2050 target of net zero emissions.

But Friends of the Earth said without better financial incentives and more charging points, little would change.

The government is asking industry and the public for their views on how to implement the scheme.

"As the UK moves at pace towards net zero emissions, the initiative aims to raise awareness of the increasing number of zero tailpipe emission vehicles on UK roads," said the Department for Transport (DfT).

"Through the introduction of green number plates, local authorities would have a useful visual identifier should they wish to introduce incentives to promote the use of zero-emission vehicles, such as allowing these drivers to use bus lanes and to pay less for parking."

Article continues
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Coffee Shop Admin, Vice Chair of Melksham Rail User Group, and on the board of TravelWatch SouthWest.
CyclingSid
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2019, 07:10:33 am »

As you would expect from me, the answer would be no. Because Bus lanes are usually also bike lanes.

From a congestion point of view there should be little problem when electric cars are only about 2% of the total, but having allowed that "easement" who is going to stop it when they are 50%? Starting is good from a political point of view ending probably not so.
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ray951
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2019, 09:02:33 am »

I agree with cyclingsid as bus lanes are also cycle lines and having more cars in the bus lane will slow down buses.

Also given that new electric cars are mostly bought by the well off, won't that turn bus lanes into a 'rich persons' lane. I can just see a queue of Teslas in a bus lane in Central London.

I am sceptical about electric cars as although they reduce localised pollution they don't reduce congestion. And congestion is as much an issue in towns and cities as pollution and I appreciate that no-one ever died from congestion. If we are too reduce CO2 emissions then we need to use less motorised travel (i.e. walk and cycle more) not just transfer from one format to another.

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2019, 09:27:48 am »

It's a very bad idea because of the effects on congestion and thus on journey predictability, attractiveness of cycling and walking, and other ideas mentioned above. I would also expect opposition from taxi drivers and motorcyclists. In effect, it turns a bus lane into a general traffic lane.

The green number plates are also a bad gimmick, especially if allowed on hybrids too. In Britain you can effectively make your own number plates with whatever registration you fancy you, the responsible Coffee Shoppist, might never dream of doing so, but there are none of the holograms, special embossings and so on that are used elsewhere, and so it is done. It would therefore be whole minutes until the first green-plated petrol or diesel burner took advantage of this.

This scheme couldn't possibly be pre-electioneering, could it?
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2019, 09:29:46 am »

From the BBC

Quote
Drivers of electric cars across the UK may soon be using special green number plates under new plans.
...

There's new plans and then there's "new" plans...

Grant Shapps's announcement was of the start of a consultation. He may have given the impression it was his idea ... or at least that he had something to do with it (it's not just him - it's normal ministerial behaviour). But it wasn't even that new, both the idea and the "forthcoming" consultation having been announced by Grayling last year:
Quote
News story
Green number plates for clean vehicles

Consultation will ask for views on how to promote awareness of ultra-low emission vehicles.
Published 9 September 2018

From:
    Department for Transport, Office for Low Emission Vehicles, and The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP

...and then "the commitment to consult on the use of green number plates for ULEVs was a flagship announcement by the Prime Minister at the UKs international Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Summit on 11 September 2018."
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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2019, 11:25:49 am »

Makes me think of the ZiL  lanes (or, properly, rezervniye polosy) in Soviet Moscow, where the favoured higher-ups of The Party could swoosh past the unwashed, on their way into the Kremlin or out to their daschas.  I was surprised (or maybe not) to find that as of 2015, one ZiL lane still existed, on Kutuzovsky Prospekt
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broadgage
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« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2019, 12:17:38 pm »

I agree that electric cars should not be permitted in bus lanes, for the reason already given that withdrawing this permission would be hard in the future when electric cars are the norm.

I can however think of an alternative way to encourage greater use of electric cars. Reserve those parking places closest to school gates as being for electric vehicles only.
Many parents are utterly desperate to park as close as possible to the school, many resort to illegal parking to get a few yards closer, sometimes indulging in physical combat to achieve this.
Being able to LEGALLY pick up or drop of the little darlings a few yards closer would be a very powerful incentive.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
GBM
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« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2019, 02:30:41 pm »

Also a big NO from me.
There's already too many cars travelling in bus lanes (sorry gov, didn't see the BUS ONLY signs).
Cyclists are bad enough (with due deference to CS).  A bus having to  t r y  and pull out into a normal traffic lane generally results in bus having to crawl/stop and wait for hopefully, a car to let the bus out in order to pass said cyclist.
Perform this operation several times a week, and it's painful. 
Meantime, the cyclist continues blissfully onwards, with helmet cam recording free flowing traffic in front.
It just doesn't record the traffic behind scene (neither does cyclist look behind either).
Not my favourite topic as you may well gather  Roll Eyes
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2019, 02:38:16 pm »

In Britain you can effectively make your own number plates with whatever registration you fancy

[...]

It would therefore be whole minutes until the first green-plated petrol or diesel burner took advantage of this.

You can make your own number plates with whatever registration you fancy, but you may not fix it to a motor vehicle on a public road unless it complies with the rules. I'm sure anyone fixing a green plate to a burner vehicle would face a stiff penalty charge.

This scheme couldn't possibly be pre-electioneering, could it?

Green plates are perfect, from the Government's viewpoint - a (possibly rather effective) incentive that costs next to nothing to implement or enforce.

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Witham Bobby
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« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2019, 03:01:32 pm »

Green plates are perfect, from the Government's viewpoint - a (possibly rather effective) incentive that costs next to nothing to implement or enforce.



I feel sure the Government could find a way to make sure it cots a lot more than next to nothing.  They always do.
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stuving
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« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2019, 03:03:05 pm »

In Britain you can effectively make your own number plates with whatever registration you fancy

[...]

It would therefore be whole minutes until the first green-plated petrol or diesel burner took advantage of this.

You can make your own number plates with whatever registration you fancy, but you may not fix it to a motor vehicle on a public road unless it complies with the rules. I'm sure anyone fixing a green plate to a burner vehicle would face a stiff penalty charge.

This scheme couldn't possibly be pre-electioneering, could it?

Green plates are perfect, from the Government's viewpoint - a (possibly rather effective) incentive that costs next to nothing to implement or enforce.

Doesn't that contradict itself? It would cost something if enforced. However, DfT/OLEV don't intend to do anything in particular to enforce it. What they do intend in this respect is:
Quote
At present it is an offence to supply or display a plate that a vehicle is not eligible for. If green number plate design and eligibility is brought in through an amendment to the Display Regulations, then the plates would fall under this existing police enforcement landscape around vehicles displaying eligible plates.
So it's down to local authorities:
Quote
Proposed policy position
2.37 Our proposed policy position is for a light touch scheme that fits into the existing number plate landscape in the UK, and that can be successfully delivered and operationalised in timeframes appropriate to support policy goals. For national enforcement, this means it would fall under this existing enforcement landscape around supplying and displaying eligible plates. Then formal local enforcement around accessing local incentives would likely to be via the local authority reading vehicle plates through ANPR and checking vehicle details. Government is exploring this aspect further. Under this proposed approach there would be no material benefit to displaying a green number plate, unless you had a qualifying vehicle. Displaying the plates should not be mandatory for eligible vehicles accessing any local incentives they decide to bring in.

The logic behind saying green plates on ungreen vehicles won't pay is, I think, that they will be conspicuous all the time and so attract ill-wishers to report them. Whether that will be true when they aren't rare is another matter.

You'll notice that whoever wrote that rather likes the word "landscape". And operationalised???
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 07:57:28 am by stuving » Logged
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2019, 03:52:40 pm »

In Britain you can effectively make your own number plates with whatever registration you fancy

[...]

It would therefore be whole minutes until the first green-plated petrol or diesel burner took advantage of this.

You can make your own number plates with whatever registration you fancy, but you may not fix it to a motor vehicle on a public road unless it complies with the rules. I'm sure anyone fixing a green plate to a burner vehicle would face a stiff penalty charge.
Burner vehicles are likely to find green plates too conspicuous for a while yet; better to stick with standard yellow clones or none at all. Or wasn't that the sort of burner you meant?  Wink
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Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
CyclingSid
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« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2019, 07:00:35 am »

I am not entirely sure I qualify for GBM's deference.

I try not to be the archetypical Daily Mail cyclist. In general I don't go through red lights, in general I don't cycle on pavements and I don't do 30 mph (you'd have to push me off the cliffs at Bournemouth to achieve that speed).

I believe German road law used to require slow vehicles to pull over and let the following traffic pass at regular intervals. I try and do the same, prefer not to have somebody on my tail building up a head of steam.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2019, 10:10:49 am »

John Major famously said that for him a key component of Englishness was old ladies cycling slowly to church. In Italy, it's the priests who cycle to church...
https://youtu.be/TxKURy2yE64

Perhaps Cycling Sid would benefit from divine intervention to enable him to reach 30mph without also reaching kingdom come?  Grin

Edit: Just in case it's not obvious, the "priest" is certainly not a priest!
« Last Edit: October 24, 2019, 11:12:43 am by Bmblbzzz » Logged

Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
broadgage
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« Reply #14 on: October 24, 2019, 10:24:45 am »

There is a lot to be said for relatively slow cycling.
Cycling should be considered as faster and less tiring than walking, allowing a greater distance to be covered.

IMHO, far too many cyclists ride furiously with little regard for other road users, why not leave a bit earlier, cycle at a moderate relaxed pace, and arrive at your destination relaxed and fit for work or leisure.
Rather than hot, sweaty, and in need of a shower, change of clothing, and a rest.

I refer here to cycling as a means of transport, and not to competitive cycling which is a sport not a means of transport.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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