Bus lanes in Liverpool will be scrapped as part of a nine-month trial which aims to reduce traffic congestion.
Liverpool City Council has approved suspending the 24 dedicated lanes from 21st October.
Green Party councillor John Coyne attacked the decision. He told JMU Journalism: “The announcement was a complete shock to us.”
He said the party has been sceptical towards Mayor Joe Anderson’s green credentials and Cllr Coyne claims this has changed the whole balance of private transport against public transport, in favour of the private car.
He said: “It goes against everything that is sensible about transport thinking.”
Mayor Joe Anderson said the bus lanes “simply don’t work” but could be reinstated if the pilot scheme fails.
He added: “It’s not a popular stunt by me, it’s because we have looked at it over six to seven months and we feel it makes no improvement to the traffic flow in the city.”
Scrapping the bus lanes could cost the council about £600,000 in lost revenue from fines, Mr Anderson claimed.
Cllr Coyne believes it will have a very detrimental effect on the reliability and punctuality of buses in the city centre. He said: “To take road space away from buses is going to make it harder for the bus driver. They no longer have the priority on the road to make progress and it’s going to be very hard for them to keep to a timetable.
“From a bus passenger’s point of view, you’ve got no way of knowing when your bus is going to come and no way of planning journeys. It’s going to make a much harder environment for people who are trying to do the right thing, transport- wise.”
The council will be seeking views during the trial period as well as examining CCTV footage.