It seemed like a great leap forward. Years of pressuring local government to allow motorcycles to use the lanes, then Boris the London Mayor said as part of it campaign that he'd do it.
And then from January the bus lanes were opened in London to motorcyclists. Not all bus lanes though. Make sure you check the sign as the lanes that are open are on "Red Routes" only.
So the reality. For me at least it has taken the some of the attention away from looking for the coppers that might see you illegally riding in the lane. That said, it seems that there are more loonies in the bus lanes, not just the bikers, but it seems pedestrians and cyclists are magnetised to the red tarmac.
To get to where you hope to be in the future means spending more time on the look out for the car (9/10's of the time) that will poke its nose out on the left, and of course, the curse of everyone, the wanker turning right across your path.
Safer? I can't say, but in the last two days I have had more near misses with myopic pedestrians who fail to see the big light I am shining at them and who fail to hear me coming than ever before.
Is my commute more relaxed now I don't have to fight for road space with cars? is it ****!
Maybe loud pipes do save lives after all?