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Welcome for hard shoulder running for buses on M8 and M9 Trunk Roads (Newbridge to Hermiston Gait)

Published 08 January 2021 by Transform Scotland

Transform Scotland has responded to Transport Scotland’s ‘Consultation on the M8 and M9 Trunk Roads (Newbridge to Hermiston Gait) (Actively Managed Hard Shoulder and Speed Limit) Regulations’. The consultation remains open until 13 January.

Transform’s policy adviser Nigel Bagshaw commented:

“Any measures to improve bus reliability and journey times are to be welcomed and I look forward to these proposals being introduced unamended. However, to bring about the far-reaching changes needed to reduce transport-related climate emissions in Scotland, what is required is a huge switch in focus away from road-building towards public and active transport.”

Transform’s response in full reads:

In response to the above consultation, we would like to submit the following brief comments.

We support the provision of a full-time, permanent bus lane on the hard shoulder of the road and the extension of the speed limit on the M9 to M8 eastbound interchange link.

From the point of view of sustainable transport, it is well established that buses, like other forms of public transport, have the capacity to move people much more efficiently whilst producing only a fraction of the emissions per person in comparison with single-occupancy cars, and the proposed measures should, as intended, reduce journey times and increase journey time reliability for buses, thus making them a more attractive travel option.

The rationale behind the regulations made previously in 2012, which introduced an actively managed hard shoulder, continues to apply and the current proposals merely constitute an extension of those regulations.

We also support the exclusion of vehicles which cannot carry more than 23 seated passengers, for reasons of consistency with the existing regulations and for the purpose of prioritising more effective, high-capacity vehicles.

In summary, we support the proposals and look forward to their implementation with no changes which would reduce the effectiveness of the objective they pursue.


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