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Muswell Hill Bus Lane now operates 24 hours a day, pigeon brain

It has done for a little while, apparently, since October last year. The signs announcing it do not state the hours of operation, the implication being that operation is all day every day.

Bus lanes seem to have developed a very considerable power. Once it was very obvious what their part time hours were, either the morning or evening rush hour, depending on the flow of traffic, or possibly both. But the operators of the lanes have clearly taken a lesson from the comparative psychology experiment which identified that pigeons can be much more thoroughly trained using partial intermittent reinforcement than when they are rewarded every time. So now every bus lane has different operating hours to every other bus lane, and most bus lanes remain empty most of the time, even when not restricted to buses only. I do consider using them outside the stated hours, but to do so I have to spot the sign announcing the lane, read and understand the restrictions, check my watch and then be sufficiently confident that I've got all the parameters right before mirror , signal, manoeuvring into the empty space. Quite stressful. Very like the pigeon that does not know how long it will have to go on pecking to get a reward , I can't be sure if this is an occasion when I can gleefully overtake dozens of stationary vehicles without incurring a fine. So, mainly I don't do it.

The proposal to change the hours of the Muswell Hill bus lane was publicised on a Haringey website page. The notice can be seen here on the Impartial Reporter. The crucial sentence reads:

2. The general effect of the Order would be to amend the operational hours of the north-west bound bus lane located on the south-west side of Muswell Hill N10 between Grove Lodge Garden and Muswell Hill Broadway from operating between 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays to Fridays inclusive to operating at any time.

Which is a dreadful sentence.

The somewhat sketchy reasons given for making the change are:

The above Orders are considered necessary in order to aid in improving the efficiency of bus services by extending the hours of operation of the Muswell Hill Bus Lane.

But, use of the bus lane has been extended to include motor cycles.

Tags: bus lane, muswell hill

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I have found out some more of the reason for the change to 24hours, not by my own efforts but in an email that has been forwarded to me.

Sent: 27 December 2017 14:57 Subject: FW: RE: WGE (HC-412864) - Muswell Hill Bus Lane WK/399457

Dear A, Thank you for your correspondence dated 12 September 2017 regarding the above matter.

For your information, the bus lane operational times have changed to 24 hours which means that vehicles cannot enter the bus lane ‘at any time’. I can confirm that a sign is not required for a 24-hour bus lane restriction.

The new operational times have been introduced following numerous reports of vehicles parking in the bus lane opposite the nightclubs and bars in the area, out of enforcement times. The situation is exasperated due to the de-regulation bill which means that CCTV can no longer enforce the Zig Zag markings, footway parking and double yellow lines. This has negatively impacted on bus operations with regards to access and has caused delays to bus journey times. Furthermore, the council has received numerous complaints about revellers who gather around their cars drinking and shouting throughout the night.

By making the bus lane 24 hrs which will be enforceable by CCTV at all times, it is envisaged that there will be a significant improvement to bus operations as well a reduction in antisocial behaviour. I hope that you are satisfied with my response to your enquiry. If you have any follow-up queries or need more information, please contact the Feedback and Information Governance Team in the first instance.

Regards, Allain Alexis BSc (Hons) MCIHT

Project Engineer Haringey Council

1st Floor,

River Park House,

225 High Road,

London N22 8H T. 020 8489 5327

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