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.