Green politician backs ‘floating bus stops’ days after crash video released

By Robert Firth, Local Democracy Reporter

A Green Party politician has backed so-called ‘floating bus stops’ days after a video was released showing a cyclist colliding with a pedestrian next to one outside a hospital.

Caroline Russell, a London Assembly member, said some cyclists were ‘inconsiderate’ but the overwhelming evidence showed that the design feature, where a bike lane is routed between a bus stop and the pavement, reduced the number of people killed and seriously injured, as it separates cyclists from buses at the point they need to pull in.

The National Federation of the Blind UK (NFBUK) posted a clip on May 5, showing a cyclist knocking over a person at a floating bus stop outside St Thomas’ Hospital in Westminster Bridge Road in Lambeth.

The charity believes the design feature, also known as bus stop bypasses, is unsafe and wants it banned. But Ms Russell, leader of the Greens at City Hall, said the number of people killed and seriously injured by cyclists was a ‘tiny fraction’ of those killed and injured by motorists.

Speaking at City Hall in Newham on Monday, she said: “Overwhelmingly, people get that all the evidence shows that floating bus stops reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured. That goes without question. But we do also need to hear when blind people are saying ‘I find this design really confusing. I find it really worrying. I find it stressful’.”

Caroline Russell, Green Party London Assembly member (Picture: Greater London Authority)

Ms Russsell said that measures like raised paving, clear zebra crossings and different coloured tarmac at floating bus stops could make them safer, as well as announcements on buses reminding people when a bus stop bypass is approaching.

She added: “It’s all about looking at the evidence and making sure you’re listening to people – particularly the most vulnerable in that transport hierarchy, which includes a blind person walking.”

Last week the Guardian revealed that transport secretary Mark Harper was considering banning floating bus stops.

Transport for London (TfL) has previously said that bus stop bypasses are a UK-wide recognised way of reducing danger to cyclists. Among the locations where they have been most recently installed in London is Lower Road, Canada Water where road improvements have been made alongside the ongoing construction of tower blocks and retail units as part of the Canada Water Masterplan.

Pictured top: A video posted online by the National Federation of the Blind UK (NFBUK) on May 5, showed a cyclist colliding with a pedestrian outside St Thomas’ Hospital (Picture: NFBUK/LDRS)

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