Reading council agrees to PHV bus lane consultation
Reading private hire drivers could soon be allowed to drive in bus lanes after Reading Borough Council's Traffic Management Panel agreed to begin a consultation into bus lane access.
Current guidelines, issued in October 2011, permit licensed private hire vehicles to use 'near side with-flow' bus lanes only, not contra-flow bus lanes or bus gates. Councillors agreed to go ahead with the consultation, and a meeting will be held with local private hire operators on Thursday, March 14.
Reading’s transport leader, Cllr Tony Page, said: “This is a sensitive issue. It is recognised that being able to travel in bus lanes would also significantly speed up journey times for the town’s fleet of private hire drivers, but we must ensure that including private hire vehicles in any of Reading’s new bus lanes does not increase congestion and delay our important bus services.”
Cllr Page added: “In Reading, buses are the notable form of transport in the town. That is not to say they have a veto over it, but they do have an important part to play in this.” Reading previously trialed a change in 2007, when PHVs were allowed to drive down the inbound lane in King’s Road, which was hailed as a success by local operators.