Sadiq Khan has acknowledged a need to “raise awareness” among London’s cyclists about obeying the rule about giving way to pedestrians at zebra crossings installed on so-called “floating bus stops” or bus stop by-passes, and to “ensure there’s enforcement as well” so that vulnerable bus users are not injured by bicycles.
Answering a question from Conservative Assembly member Emma Best, the Mayor said Transport for London’s approach to installing the infrastructure, whose purpose is to protect cyclists against collisions with buses and other motor vehicles on the main carriageway by re-routing dedicated cycle tracks through pavements behind bus stops, is “completely consistent with the Department for Transport’s guidance and approach” but he accepted that “pedestrians, particularly the visually-impaired ones” should not be put “in danger because of cyclists not following the Highway Code. It’s really important that they feel safe as well.”
Best, who welcomed campaigners from the National Federation of the Blind of the UK to City Hall (pictured outside), referred to a Telegraph newspaper article and accompanying video (below) which claimed that only one in ten London cyclists stops at by-pass zebras as they are meant to, and asked Khan if he would look at stopping “any further funding for floating bus stops while research is carried out and to make sure we aren’t unnecessarily putting people in danger”.
She also stressed that bus by-passes are seen as a problem by organisations representing older Londoners and others, including bus-users who travel with small children.
Khan replied, “I’m not sure we can stop further bus stop by-passes, particularly as they are consistent with DfT guidance,” but he added: “What we must do is look into safety concerns raised by not just those who are visually impaired but others as well.” He said he would ask the Deputy Mayor for Transport, Seb Dance, to “take this away see what more can be done, including meeting with relevant groups but also working with the government. This is an area where all of us probably agree”.
He said he looked forward to reassuring Best “that we are doing all we can within the bounds of reasonableness. Clearly more needs to be done because what we can’t have is a situation where somebody is seriously hurt or even worse as a consequence of cyclists not following the Highway Code and running over somebody.”
“It’s really important that we do that, God forgive, before that happens rather than afterwards. I’m more than happy to make sure that these bus stop bypasses are safer than they currently appear to be,” he said.
This morning’s Mayor’s Question Time can be watched in full here.
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