In the past year alone no fewer than 17 towns and cities across the UK, from Aberdeen to Exeter, have introduced or approved new bus gates.

But what exactly are these gates, and how do they impact emergency service response?

Bus gates are a form of carriageway restriction that primarily prohibit most vehicular traffic from accessing certain areas. They make an exception for public transport vehicles such as buses, trams, and taxis. Emergency service vehicles are also exempt from these restrictions as stipulated in the relevant Traffic Regulation Orders

Enforcement and Operation

Despite the “gate” name, there is no physical restriction preventing access. Instead, they are enforced by camera, with fines issued to members of the public that drive through.

Depending on their location they may operate as a permanent restriction, or only at particular times and days of the week.



Benefits and Challenges

Bus gates serve to create efficient shortcuts for public transportation, offering congestion-free routes. Some of these stretches are brief connectors between major road links.

Additionally, they often provide dedicated contraflow lanes for public transit on roads that are otherwise one-way.

While Traffic Regulation Orders grant emergency services access to these shortcuts, their utilisation is hindered by the limitations of generic GPS solutions.


Traditional navigation solutions don’t understand that first responder users can drive through bus gates, leading them to inadvertently take longer routes.

The Blue Light Routing Solution

Our advanced navigation system calculates routes that enable first responders to reach emergencies swiftly, even through roads with bus gates. Unlike conventional navigation solutions which opt for lengthy detours, Blue Light Routing ensures that the quickest path is taken.

As more areas adopt bus gates to encourage use of public transportation, the challenge of navigating through them efficiently becomes evident for emergency services. Blue Light Routing bridges this gap, empowering first responders to choose the most direct routes and ultimately enhancing their ability to save lives.

If you’d like to witness the impact of Blue Light Routing firsthand, reach out to us today to arrange a demo.

1 New bus gates: Aberdeen, Bristol, Coventry, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Oxford, Preston, Sheffield, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Tunbridge Wells, Warrington, Weston-super-Mare, Wolverhampton