Calls to give buses right of way over cars

Calls to give buses right of way over cars

New Zealand's biggest bus company is calling for a new traffic law to give commuter buses right of way over cars.

NZ Bus says some buses are waiting minutes at each stop in for cars to let them into the stream of peak traffic.

Two minutes might not sound like much, but when it's added to every stop on a busy route, it means buses are constantly running late.

"We think letting the bus go first is actually going to be not only good for the bus, but it's going to have less people in cars and more people on public transport, and that's hopefully going to be a win-win for all," chief operating officer Shane McMahon says.

NZ Bus says on average a peak-time bus in Auckland carries 35-40 people. But on busy routes like Mt Eden Road, Sandringham Rd, Dominion Rd, Remuera Rd there's up to 70 people on board.

A lot of Auckland's main arterial roads have bus lanes, but not all the way into the city.

The Greens say as well as making it fair for those who chose the more efficient bus, giving it right of way is better for everyone on the road.

"The traffic management studies show that when you give buses the right of way it ends up speeding up traffic times for everybody, even the people in the cars," Greens transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter says.

Drivers in Australia, Singapore, and most of the UK must give buses the right of way. But with bigger traffic problems to fix, the Ministry of Transport says it's not even on its agenda.