List of guided busways and BRT systems in the United Kingdom

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A Lothian Buses guided bus traversing the former Fastlink guided busway in Edinburgh (alignment now used for Tram Line 2)

This is a list of the past, present, planned or abandoned guided bus systems or bus rapid transit schemes in the United Kingdom, including segregated busways. Not included are bus priority schemes, bus lanes or local authority bus company quality contracts that do not involve guidance, significant segregation from the public highway or other bus rapid transit features. The UK does not have any implementations or proposals for rubber tyred trams such as Translohr or Bombardier Guided Light Transit.

Past systems[edit]

  • Birmingham. Tracline 65 was an upgraded route with the first guided busway in the UK. There was a 600-metre section of guideway in Erdington. It opened in 1984 and closed in 1987.[1]
  • Edinburgh, Edinburgh Fastlink operated by Lothian Buses. Originally called WEBS, the West Edinburgh Bus Scheme, a group of bus priority improvements that included a 1 mile (1.5 km) section of guided busway.
    • Stenhouse - Broomhouse, opened in December 2004, designed to be utilised for Line 2 of the Edinburgh Tram Network.[2] In January 2009 it closed to enable conversion, with the two services using the guideway being re-routed.

Present systems[edit]

Under construction[edit]

  • Leigh-Salford-Manchester Bus Rapid Transit, from Leigh (one of the largest towns in Great Britain without a railway station) to Manchester via Salford. The 14-stop scheme makes partial use of a former railway line to form a 4 miles (7 km) guided busway together with pedestrian, cycle lane and bridleway between Leigh, Tyldesley, and Ellenbrook relieving heavy congestion, it will then join the East Lancs Road with the construction of a bus lane where none is present. A Park and Ride site will be constructed where the road reaches the M60 then the bus will continue along the road through Salford and into Manchester along a total of 9 miles (15 km) of segregated bus lane. The scheme will be 80% segregated from highway along its length and utilise a Trambus hybrid fleet. The scheme is costed at £30m for the guided busway and £76m for the total project. Road junction works began in late 2011 and it was originally due to open in spring 2013, but major works were delayed as finance was diverted to more urgent projects and it will not now begin construction until 2013 and open in 2015.[18] It will form part of the wider Manchester Quality Bus Corridor (Manchester QBC) and Cross City Bus network.
  • Belfast: Since 2008 Belfast has been formally exploring the idea of a rapid-transit system. This quickly settled down to be a high-quality bus-based system, with modern vehicles with a tram-like feel with off-vehicle ticketing and fast journey times that hinge on the use of a dedicated traffic lane that is not used by general traffic. The ultimate ambition seems to be for routes running from the city centre to the north, east, south and west with an additional line to Titanic Quarter. The network is in the middle of being constructed and is planned to be opened by 2017/18. [20]

Planned systems[edit]

  • Bristol: Bristol City Council in conjunction with the West of England Partnership is proposing routes from Ashton Vale to Temple Meads, the North Fringe of Bristol to Hengrove Park, and the A370 Long Ashton bypass to Hengrove Park.[21]
  • Glasgow, Clyde Fastlink, along the north bank of the River Clyde, with segregated running for the majority of its length outside the city centre.[23] It has been approved by Scottish ministers and is expected to be ready for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.[24]
  • Leeds, following refusal of funding the proposed Leeds Supertram, a replacement system has been proposed by the government and awaits local authority plans,[26] which include a three-line 12 miles (20 km) trolleybus network.[27] 38% would run on guideways or on bus lanes.[28]
  • London
    • West London Transit, being considered following the abandonment of plans for the West London Tram in August 2007

Abandoned proposals[edit]

  • Bath, Somerset, the Department of Transport approved funding with 1 mile (1.4 km) of busway,[29] but this has been abandoned.[30]
  • London
    • Millennium Transit, a segregated busway intended to link the Millennium Dome with Charlton and Greenwich railway stations, part of which was to include a 1 mile (1.3 km) section of electronic guidance.[31] Intended to be operational when the Dome opened, the electronic guidance technology was abandoned following concerns that neither the system nor the driver was in a position to avoid sudden obstacles.[32] The busway remains in use, unguided.
      • Route M1, Charlton - Millennium Dome
      • Route M2, Greenwich - Millennium Dome
    • Greenwich Waterfront Transit, planned for completion by 2011, abandoned in 2008 due to cancellation of Thames Gateway Bridge.
  • Stoke-on-Trent Streetcar, primarily to link the railway station to the city centre, but would have also linked the rest of the city's six towns and neighbouring Newcastle-under-Lyme and Kidsgrove. Major destinations included both universities, the hospital and both major football stadia.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ City web site, Bus Priority Systems page Guided Buses In Britain section
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Kesgrave - The First 'Serious' British Installation.
  4. ^ Bus Priority Systems web page, 2006 information update sub heading
  5. ^ Halton Council website page about development of Runcorn New Town
  6. ^ Description of the Runcorn Busway
  7. ^ Runcorn buses enthusast site detailing the busway
  8. ^ Description of the Leeds guided bus system
  9. ^ First group Bradford guided busway page
  10. ^ Tyne and Wear PTE (Nexus) Centrlink page
  11. ^ Tyne and Wear PTE (Nexus) Route 19 page
  12. ^ Swansea Council Metro Site
  13. ^ Cambs County Council - Other guided busways
  14. ^ Cambridgeshire County Council's guided busway site
  15. ^ Cambridgeshire News: Growing fears that guided buses won’t run until 2011
  16. ^ "Cambridgeshire guided busway opening date announced". BBC News Online. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 7 June 2011. 
  17. ^ [2][dead link]
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Regional approval for Rotherham / Sheffield transport scheme". Rotherham Business News. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2008. 
  20. ^ "Belfast Rapid Transit System". Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "MetroBus | Travel in the West of England". Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  22. ^ Sprint Website Route Alignment page
  23. ^ Glasgow Council Fastlink description
  24. ^ BBC Ministers approve Glasgow Fastlink
  25. ^ [3][dead link]
  26. ^ Department for Transport Leeds BRT statement
  27. ^ "West Yorkshire Metro - Projects and Plans - New Generation Transport - Trolleybuses". Retrieved 23 January 2009. [dead link]
  28. ^
  29. ^ [4][dead link]
  30. ^ "Bath drops BRT route and Eastern P&R site". Retrieved 17 August 2014. 
  31. ^ London Bus Routes, route 486, successor to the Dome link
  32. ^ Specification Change to Create Havoc for Millennium Transit Engineers

External links[edit]