Buses help Essex’s economy grow by enabling people to move about without adding to congestion on the roads. It is estimated that a full bus could remove as many as 40 cars from the road at one time. They are a critical part of the sustainable travel approach that Essex County Council is leading.
Bus lanes and gates have been introduced over the years in order to improve bus service punctuality and journey time reliability as we seek to reduce over-reliance on cars, provide greater choice over journeys and minimise congestion. Bus lanes also improve safety, as they reduce the likelihood of accidents between cars and pedestrians by removing cars and many other vehicles from the location. This is particularly important, for instance at railway stations, where there may be many pedestrians crossing the road to make their way between a bus stop and the station.
For bus users, confidence in the services comes from improved reliability as buses suffer fewer delays at pinch points – in turn, this encourages more people to use buses, which makes the whole bus network more sustainable for the long-term and reduces congestion caused by cars.
In some locations bus lanes are also used to stop rat-running and inappropriate short-cuts being used, giving local residents quieter, safer roads.
The aim is to maintain the reliability and attractiveness of the bus network, encourage more sustainable travel and help wider road network management and traffic flow.