Road Safety News
 

TFA expresses safety concerns over floating bus stops

Monday 6th June 2016

TfL has been urged to call a halt to introducing more ‘floating bus stops’ until work to evaluate their safety is complete.

A floating bus stop, also known as a bus stop bypass, involves a cycleway being cut into the pavement behind the bus boarding area, creating a ‘floating’ island separate from the footway.

The concept is designed to reduce interaction between buses and cyclists by removing the need for buses to have to overtake cyclists between stops, while on the other side of the coin, cyclists do not have to negotiate their way around stationary buses.

The plea to TfL comes from Transport for All (TFA) which has expressed concerns about the safety of pedestrians, in particular the elderly and disabled, who have to cross a cycle path to access a floating bus stop.

TfA, which primarily supports disabled and older people, has been ‘championing the cause of accessible transport’ in London for more than two decades. TFA’s aim is to ensure that grass roots experiences and opinions of service users are heard by those who commission and run the transport network.

TFA’s call comes after a working group, set up by TfL in August 2015, concluded that not enough has been done to evaluate the safety of floating bus stop sites.

The working group includes representatives from TFA, Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), Living Streets, London Cycling Campaign, Cycling Embassy of Great Britain and TfL.

The group called for TfL to ‘formally monitor’ the six current bus stop bypass sites and also survey users on their experiences. This evaluation is set to take place during summer 2016 and will include 24 accompanied ‘walks’ around the sites by mobility impaired and visually impaired people.

TFA has also described the work taking place in London to make cycling safer as ‘costly and disruptive’, adding that is has ‘serious concerns’ for the safety of disabled and older people.

 

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A crucial point is missing from the report and the comments. These bypasses are not designed for and primarily used by slow-moving urban cyclists. They are on commuter routes with a large number of high-speed cyclists. hen faced with a cycle route with no pedestrian crossing, let along controlled crossing, many of those cyclists are not going to give way to infirm/disabled pedestrians trying to cross the cycle lane. And at the speed they travel the idea of eye contact to negotiate permission is risible. So full marks to the cycling lobby for yet again winning rights without responsibility.

And full marks too for TfL who know they will be able to report few complaints from pedestrians. As most Londoners know only too well, the only practicable option is to try to get out of the way of the cyclist who is quite likely to assault anyone who doesn't; and complaints are futile as there's no way to identify culprits.
Robin, London

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0

Mark
We have replaced the pic with one of a floating bus stop in London - apologies for our error.
Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News

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+2

So what are the safety risks of this: quite simply pedestrians crossing a cycle-track. If this risk is not acceptable then we might as well all go home and not try and accommodate different users in the same space. I accept reasonable measures like tactiles and drop kerbs are sensible (as shown in photo). We cannot avoid risks altogether and this design if investigated will I'm sure prove to be safe. The detail is also vital for the situation where the cycle track is actually off the main carriageway on the main link.
Pete. Liverpool

Agree (7) | Disagree (2)
+5

The photo used to illustrate this article is of a floating bus stop in Brighton. 14 floating bus stops were installed by Brighton & Hove City Council as part of the Lewes Rd scheme and have been in place for over 3 years. There have been no recorded problems and Brighton & Hove Bus Company have confirmed that they have no concerns.
Mark Strong, Brighton

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+4