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Mobility Measure

bus and bike lane
Priority access for clean goods vehicles

The measure demonstrated the effectiveness of making facilities available to assist goods delivery companies that promote cleaner urban transport.

Implementing sustainable mobility

The broad object was to improve urban air quality and create a sustainable, safe and flexible traffic system. Norwich is a relatively compact urban area with a radial pattern of main road corridors into its centre. A number of these radial routes have bus priority measures, but generally in an inbound direction only and not always continuous.

The aim of the measure was to allow goods vehicles that met a pre-determined clean vehicle standards to use transport priority lanes. Vehicles using the lanes would have to operate on low-emission engines. Vehicles running only on locally produced biofuels could also be considered as clean.

Specific aims were to:

  • allow freight operators who respect cleaner urban transport principles to share priority collective transport lanes;
  • increase the proportion of urban goods vehicle transport that meets pre-determined emission control standards; and
  • work in partnership with goods operators who respect clean urban transport principles in order to facilitate their journeys in the Norwich area and mitigate the negative effects of urban freight transport on other network users.

How did the measure progress?

A study of existing bus lanes in Norwich was undertaken to determine the most suitable lanes for heavy goods vehicles to use. As a result of this study, it was decided to allow only heavy goods vehicles associated with the Norwich Freight Consolidation Centre to use the most appropriate bus lanes for their operation. This allowed greater control over the number and behaviour of goods vehicles using the bus lanes and made the measure easier to enforce. Consolidation centre vehicle drivers were given training on how and when to drive in the bus lane. The vehicles had distinctive liveries to identify them as being permitted to use the bus lanes.

The scheme was implemented for a one-year experimental period with monitoring being undertaken during this period.

What were the outcomes of the measure?

The key findings were as follows:

  • The width of the existing bus lanes was a barrier to implementing the measure, thus revised objectives were developed so that only consolidation centre vehicles could use the bus lanes.
  • The number of heavy goods vehicles using the bus lanes was about one per day, due to the number of customers using the consolidation centre. As the number of customers using the consolidation centre increases, the number of bus lanes users will rise.
  • There was some stakeholder opposition to the measure.
  • Monitoring showed a peak-time journey saving of two to four minutes per trip for an overall average journey of 25 minutes. This equates to small savings in emissions and fuel consumption. There was little benefit from using the bus lane at off-peak times.

Basic Information

November 2011

Thematic Areas