Crumbling red lanes for buses face chop

Pothole-ridden bus lanes in Wolverhampton are to be replaced with ordinary black asphalt after the more expensive red surfaces crumbled in the bad winter weather.

Pothole-ridden bus lanes in Wolverhampton are to be replaced with ordinary black asphalt after the more expensive red surfaces crumbled in the bad winter weather.

Council bosses today predicted a saving of £100,000 by repairing two bus lanes with normal road surfacing, and said the red material disintegrated “like chewing gum”.

Wolverhampton City Council is planning to spend £2.8 million over the coming 12 months on road maintenance.But reports to the Conservative cabinet reveal that freezing conditions have ruined bus lanes on the A4124 Wednesfield Road and the A454 Willenhall Road.

Head of transportation David Orton said: “The bus lanes have suffered particularly badly and have required extensive patch repairs during the past few weeks.

“It is considered necessary to bring forward schemes to resurface these sections of road, and they have therefore been included in the programme.

“Following an appraisal of options and discussions with traffic and road safety specialists it is proposed to replace the existing red Tarmac surface on these bus lanes with “ordinary” black Tarmac.

“The red Tarmac is significantly more expensive to lay and experience in Wolverhampton has shown that it is less durable and does not last as long as black Tarmac.

“Use of a red coloured thin surface was also considered but is also more expensive and creates additional maintenance problems.

"There is no legal requirement for the bus lanes to be surfaced in red, although it is thought to assist in reducing levels of contravention. However the bus lanes will be clearly signed as bus lanes.”

Regeneration chief Councillor Paddy Bradley said: “We have had one of the worst winters for a long time and it is has really affected the roads.

“The red Tarmac is like chewing gum – it has just disintegrated.”

Council leader Neville Patten has sought reassurances that the bus lanes will be very clearly marked so drivers know they are there.

In Wolverhampton, 495 potholes have been earmarked for work following the big freeze – more than six times the 80 which were patched up after the coldest spell of last year.

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Comments for: "Crumbling red lanes for buses face chop"

Common Sense

While they're at it, why not just get rid of the bus lanes altogether? After all, we drivers are paying all this tax to use the roads -- let us use it!


Git rid of the bus lanes. You won't have to worry then.

Martacus Red

Where ever the lay these different coloured road finishes they crumble. It looks nice for about 1 week before decay sets in. Like most things they do with town roads today a complete waste of money. Be it red lines, narrowing roads, speed bumps, how do any of these benefit the driver who as to stump up the money with fuel duty, road tax etc

Rob H

Scrap the bus lanes completely. Especially the one on the A449 Stafford Street. Its in such as bad state it needs ripping up and replacing altogether.


Abnormal product deterioration should be covered by insurance and guarantees.Did anyone think of that.Seeing the mess that some flybynights did putting a tarmac veneer on the drive of an old person I know it is worth going into.

careful phd

Amazing.Everyone who has commented wants to see the removal of bus lanes.No bus drivers have even commented in support of the bus lanes.What do you think the council will do.Will they listen to the people who vote for them and scrap the bus lanes or continue to be stubborn,obstinate and say how well they are working.


I'd like to point out to all the drivers here that you're not the only ones who pay tax! Us bus users pay taxes as well!

We may not pay road tax in the same way you do, but we pay bus fares (which aren't cheap) and these contribute towards the road tax paid by public transport operators.

If less people insisted on needlessly driving short journeys and either walked or used public transport there'd be less congestion and therefore less need for these dedicated bus lanes that you are all so against!

In the meantime - I'll enjoy passing you in the bus lane (whatever colour the tarmac is!) whilst you're all stuck in rush-hour traffic.


Yeah! The council should make more bus lanes and let the "green" passengers have the right to travel quicker. Cars are theoretically not having priorty. The car drivers could you think about when you were 12 how did you go to school and get around? Did you want your bus to be fast?


Oh please...get a grip


I am not a fan of bus lanes but the purpose of them is to aid getting from place to place quicker on public transport. They introduced them to encourage folk to use the buses instead of the car but that has failed due to the high cost of bus fares here in the midlands.

Go up north and the bus fares are hell of a lot cheaper.


I wholeheartedly support the bus lanes - and number 6 - I vote - Here's me saying KEEP THEM they make my journey to work so much easier!


I ponder is it just the surfacing or more fundamental. Several bus only areas have poor road surfaces and deep ruts even with black asphalt if you look around. Thin coatings perform well when new, but once they start to fail the grit becomes a hazard as it gathers between lanes and at junctions and this is not unique to bus lanes. Coatings need regular upkeep which is not exactly compatable with council budget constraints. Probably had grants to install them and did'nt think about the upkeep later on.

Phil Bateman

The bus lanes are important to the local bus network. They were originally in part paid for by Travel West Midlands in partnership with the City Council. It was a project aimed at providing quicker more punctual journey's for bus passengers in this important corridor.

They have been successful in doing that. If local bus operation is to be improved then we need more schemes like this one, not less. There are tens of thousands of bus passengers using these lanes each week and they are tax and Counciltax payers also. The bus lanes are in need of repair following a hard winter, the Local Authority is right to provide repair. Even if the lanes are not to be treated by coloured tarmac!




Scrap the bus lanes altogether. They're empty most of the time anyway. If bus travel didn't involve daily terror, more people would use them, bus lanes still provide no incentive to save half an hour in the morning sitting next to a nutter waiting for a thug to threaten you, whilst you ponder your demise on a filthy germ infested mobile tin of dispair.

Bob Satwa

A Nation Yawns! - Running things on 'The Bottom Line' does not work! - Use a 'Proper Contractor' and you can get them back to fix the defects! - Forgive me, but is Wolverhampton the Headquarters for one of the biggest Road Contractors in The World?


carnt belive my car is off the road next week becouse i cart afford the car insurence but when i start paying nearly 10 a day for me and the wife two go two work and school ill think again.

the road that the bus service use into town should be a congestion aid at busyer times in the morning two help traific flow better into the city becouse the road is been wasted


It's ordinary people driving in the bus lanes which infuriates me. Often, Iv'e been driving along, pulling into the inside lane when its legal to do so, only to be almost knocked to smithereens by some lunk-head or boy racer driving illegally in the bus lane. Resurface the lanes by all means, as they look so bad, but put safety cameras in them too...and knock these thoughtless people off.

Lady Wulfruna

Whilst I think a bus lane would be an excellent idea for a 3 lane road, it is not for a 2 lane.

It effectively reduces the road to 50% of the available road and does not help with traffic conjestion. It is not an efficient use of the road system. We managed quite well before there were bus lanes.