COVENTRY bus lanes removed temporarily as part of a trial last year are set to be permanently scrapped.
Coventry City Council’s city services cabinet member, Jayne Innes, said the move is aimed at reducing congestion and emissions.
Before the trial removal of 12 bus lanes last year, there was eight and a half kilometres of bus lane network in the city.
Seven bus lanes will go next month with the rest set to go next summer.
Bus lanes run alongside carriageways used by cars and their removal will now free up an extra lane for motorists to use.
Coun Innes said the council compared bus times through satellite data from each of the last three years and, following the trials, no difference in bus journey times and efficiency was recorded.
Coun Innes said: “The buses would be stuck in a traffic jam caused by the bus lane and that wasn’t good for overall traffic flow and wasn’t doing the buses any good because they waited longer to get into the bus lane.
“During our study, there’s been no detrimental affect on buses, there is still no increase in journey times and they’re still as reliable as they ever were.
“Times have changed – buses can be given priority in other ways.
“Smart traffic signals around Coventry which mean buses are given priority at traffic lights – and we are working on getting more of these signals.
“We have a responsibility as a council to ensure free-moving traffic.
“If we have stop-starts around the city obviously there is a greater amount of emissions and this is another reason for the removal.”
The council says action is especially important as the city has seen a 20 per cent rise in traffic and the fastest growth in congestion in the last 15 years, according to the Department for Transport.
Drivers will know which suspended bus lanes they can use when they see the new signs which have been changed to inform and encourage motorists to use the newly available lanes.
Coun Innes added the council officers has continued to work closely with the bus companies during the trial suspensions and thanked them for their cooperation.