Bus lanes are becoming a very common sight on our roads now. It’s difficult to drive through any major town or city without coming across one of them.
A continuous white line separates the bus lane from the normal driving lane. It may have a different colour or textured road surface. You may also see the words BUS LANE painted at regular intervals along the road surface; so there is really no excuse for driving into one by accident!
You must not enter or park in a bus lane during its times of operation. However, you may stop in one to load or unload a vehicle, except where there are signs which specifically prohibit this.
So how do you know when a bus lane is in operation?
Most people don’t drive in bus lanes even when they’re allowed to. The times of operation will be clearly shown on blue signs at regular intervals along the side of the road. The image shows a sign which tells you that the bus lane operates only between the hours of 7-10 in the morning and 4 – 6:30 pm during the week. Outside of those hours and on a weekend, it isn’t a bus lane and anyone can use it.
Where there are no times displayed, then the bus lane is in operation 24 hours a day. You must not use these at any time, only authorised vehicles can enter them; these may include motorcycles and taxis.
Tram lanes are similar to bus lanes and are marked by white lines, yellow dots, or a different type of road surface. You must not enter or stop in a tram lane at any time. Trams run on tracks and the driver cannot steer to avoid you. They can also be very quiet so you must be careful to keep a lookout for their approach.
For more Information about bus lanes read the Highway Code:
Bus lanes rule 141
- crossing rule 12 and rule 183
- cyclists and bus lanes rule 65
- one-way streets rule 11and rule 143
- overtaking and bus lanes rule 165
- parking rule 240
- turning rule 183