The Cabinet has confirmed that the trial suspension of Liverpool’s bus lanes will be extended for four months.
All of the city’s 26 bus lanes are currently suspended to evaluate the impact on traffic movements. The original nine-month trial was due to finish on 28 July but has now been extended until 28 November.
The cabinet heard that data sharing arrangements with stakeholders including Merseytravel and bus companies has been complex and taken longer to complete than at first envisaged. This meant that the independent review analysing the data will need more time to do so.
The trial has also taken place when there was a large number of roadworks in the city affecting bus lanes, including Network Rail works on Picton Road which lasted for three months and meant temporary traffic lights were in place.
The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “We want a full and accurate picture of the effect of the suspension is having on traffic with robust data which can be properly analyzed.
“It is important that we make the right decision on this issue even though that means taking a bit more time than we first thought. It is necessary to gather the data needed for us to get the full picture of what is happening on our roads and see what works and what doesn’t.
“We do not want to have the review distorted because there were an excessive number of roadworks during the trial. We need to see what , if anything, has been affecting traffic – the roadworks, the suspension of the bus lanes or any other factor.
“It has been claimed that this extension will mean a loss of income to the council because we will not be imposing fines. But I regard it as immoral to see the bus lanes as just being a cash cow for the council. And we cannot base our budgeting on something which may happen – we have to deal with the here and now.”