The Transport Research Laboratory was commissioned to undertake research on two major bus priority schemes in Aberdeen and Brighton, and compare these findings with those of other schemes in the UK. Bus journey times generally improved within the bus lanes, but many of the schemes did not realise their full potential. One reason for this, is that vehicles approaching the bus lane sometimes experienced increased delays, caused by queues building up either alongside the bus lane (to a point where they extend upstream of the bus lane) or becasue the bus lane acts as a bottle-neck, throttling the flow of traffic. Another reason is that traffic tends to divert from priority routes if drivers perceive that their journey may be delayed along sections of the priority route. Diverted traffic entering further along the priority route can increase congeston at intersecting junctions, thereby delaying traffic on the priority route. Bus priority schemes alone do not seem to loosen peoples attachment to the car. Park and Ride (P&R) schemes have perhaps more success, but certainly not enough to reduce road congestion. Suggestions are given on how to improve the operation of major bus priority schemes. The lessons learnt from the case studies should enable the design and implementation of more effective schemes in the future. (A)

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