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Tuesday, 14 April 2020 14:13

Its safe as no accidents have happened...yet Featured

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church farm church farm

You know I love the FOI right? well I also love safe bus stops. Here I asked why a couple of them were "dangerous or difficult".
The sections are taken from their own SOP manual which for the last few years has been marked as draft even though its a working document.

Hello.
This is a formal request for a safety audit on the following bus stops.
Please find the reasons I feel that the following stops are unsafe and
require a full assessment. Any section numbers relate to the publicly available SOP



Old Post Office Bognor Southern side.
Yellow stop line is located mid way between kerbs on left turn junction.
This means proper position provides no pavement.
The opposing stop location is not suitable distance from stop (180m away).
Parking of vehicles across from stop on double yellow lines outside lock
shop cause narrow road and cause blind junction.

This stop fails the SOP on the following points

    • Proximity to adjacent junctions
    • The position of the boarding and alighting zone should  avoid gullies
    • On-street parking
    • Allow the bus to line up parallel and within 200mm of and parallel
with the kerb
4.3    Siting stops on the upstream side of side road junctions should
be avoided.
7.1    Where a bus stop is to be located close to a junction, the
preferable location for it is on the leaving side of the junction. This
has the advantage that the presence of the junction keeps the approach
to the bus stop clear of parked vehicles.  Bus stops should be positions
15m clear of the junction with an absolute minimum of 8m.
7.3    Extra consideration needs to be given to stops at locations such
as this where it is likely that two buses could arrive at the same time.
In such circumstances, additional length needs to be provided for the
buses to clear the junction.
9.1    Convenience of access to buses requires that the bus draws up
close to and parallel with the edge of the foot way so that passengers
can step easily across between the kerb and the bus platform. For many
passengers serious difficulty arises if they are obliged to enter or
leave the bus from carriageway level.


Church Farm (wooden shelter):

  • Designed for rear loading buses. To horizontally serve stop requires people being off loaded into bushes
    with no pavement.
  • Serving flag and shelter requires complete blocking of road.
  • Opposing bus stop is located on sea lane.

This stop fails the SOP on the following points
    • Proximity to adjacent junctions
    • The position of the boarding and alighting zone should  avoid gullies
    • Footway or verge width
     • Allow the bus to line up parallel and within 200mm of and
parallel with the kerb
4.3    Siting stops on the upstream side of side road junctions should
be avoided.
5.2    The bus stop flag indicates to passengers where they should wait
and serves as a marker to drivers to indicate where the bus should stop.
These guidelines are based on the bus stopping with the front of the
doors in line with the flag and passengers boarding from the downstream
side of the flag.
7.1    Where a bus stop is to be located close to a junction, the
preferable location for it is on the leaving side of the junction. This
has the advantage that the presence of the junction keeps the approach
to the bus stop clear of parked vehicles.  Bus stops should be positions
15m clear of the junction with an absolute minimum of 8m.
9.5    Typically footway widths should be a minimum of 2 metres in
existing conditions, this is the width of footway needed is defined by
the space required for a wheelchair or pushchair to manoeuvre.



Willow hale surgery - link to map Pryors lane Bognor
Stopping causes bus to block the side road, designed for rear loaders.
This stop fails the SOP on the following points
    • Proximity to adjacent junctions
    • Bends or crests in the road
     • Allow the bus to line up parallel and within 200mm of and
parallel with the kerb
5.2    The bus stop flag indicates to passengers where they should wait
and serves as a marker to drivers to indicate where the bus should stop.
These guidelines are based on the bus stopping with the front of the
doors in line with the flag and passengers boarding from the downstream
side of the flag.

Now these will be covered at the end of the blog post BUT lets concentrate on Boxgrove.





Boxgrove.

  • Speed tests used at opposing stop over 100m away.
  • Line of sight from bus driver to stop is approx 50ft at 20 mph
  • Stop places bus at curve on double white lines.
  • Stop can not be served parallel to curve.
  • Step to bus is on a slope.
  • Better location would be opposite opposing stop on priory close.


  • This stop fails the SOP on the following points

    Section 3
        • Bus driver and waiting passengers are clearly visible to each other
        • Proximity to adjacent junctions
        • The position of the boarding and alighting zone should  avoid gullies
        • Bends or crests in the road
        • Footway or verge width
        • Allow the bus to line up parallel and within 200mm of and parallel
    with the kerb
    Section 4
    4.1    Stops should not be sited on the inside of bends as this can
    cause potential problems with bus driver visibility in mirrors when
    pulling away and restricts the forward visibility of following traffic.

    4.2    Stops should not be sited on or the approaches to crests unless
    there is sufficient width to pass without conflicting with oncoming
    traffic (9m road width is sufficient in most cases).

    4.3    Siting stops on the upstream side of side road junctions should
    be avoided.
    5.2    The bus stop flag indicates to passengers where they should wait
    and serves as a marker to drivers to indicate where the bus should stop.
    These guidelines are based on the bus stopping with the front of the
    doors in line with the flag and passengers boarding from the downstream
    side of the flag.
    9.5    Typically footway widths should be a minimum of 2 metres in
    existing conditions, this is the width of footway needed is defined by
    the space required for a wheelchair or pushchair to manoeuvre.

    Reference the publicly available document Bus stop SOP v1.32
  • Section 2. The stop is on exit of a bend contrary to the report.
  • Section 4. The sight distance is less than the 59
  • Section 5. The speed measurement argument for the 27m sight line is
    taken from an area 100m away in a 30mph narrowed zone. This area
    reportedly recorded a speed of 23.3 mph, above the 20mph limit.
  • Section 6. the stop is on a bend exit, hence no parking exists but is on
    a desire line to overtake cars parked on the northern exit.
  • Section 9. the report states the road is on a bend.
  • Section 11. to pass the bus requires vehicle to negotiate a blind right
    hand bend double white line.
  • Section 12. report states comparatively low usage, is this passengers or
    cars?
  • Section 15. the report states site lines within 50m of proposed bus stop
    affected by any street furniture, vegetation, buildings or any other
    factor are unaffected, this only applies to straight road not to see the
    bus approaching from round the bend.
  • Section 17. states distance from bends "Marginally met for a 30mph speed
    limit and fully met for a 20mph speed limit " but report states average
    speed is over 20mph at measurement point 100m away and road is actually
    a 30mph road.
  • Section 20. "Shallow foot way channel  and small area of crazy paving to
    be  crossed to access the bus – Not a Safety Issue " the crazy paving is
    a slope and therefore unsuitable distance for wheelchairs allowing for
    exiting from ramp on level surface.
  • Section 27. "However  buses would need  to align with the pavement  when
    stopping  in order that passengers can board and alight safely " buses
    are unable to stop aligned flat with kerb.
  • Section 30. "The applicants would need to satisfy themselves  that their drivers  can stop at  the proposed  bus stop  sufficiently parallel to the kerb such that  passengers can board and alight  from the bus safely. " while the bus doors can align with the kerb, thelength of the bus will not be flush with the kerb.


In summary, the report is flawed and presents a danger and failure to
meet with SOP on many counts. No Impact assessment provided.





Response

 Apologies that it has taken until now for me to come back to you regarding the stops you requested. As I did state previously as part of the process  I submitted your requests to our traffic engineer to assess, however the traffic engineer has come back to me stating the following.

‘Whilst the SOP does apply to existing stops, it has never been the intention that all existing stops should be reassessed using the latest procedure. The SOP states:

16.        Existing Bus Stop Assessments

16.1     In reassessing existing bus stop locations, it is important to take their safety record into account. There are many bus stop locations in rural areas that have been in place for numerous years, which have operated successfully and safely over those periods, notwithstanding that some of these bus stops may not be positioned where conventional road design approaches would suggest.

17.        Consultations Regarding Safety

17.1   If a bus stop location has been in operation for a number of years and does not have an adverse accident record, the presumption should generally be on the continuance of that location.

I have checked the accident records, for the latest available 5-year period, for all three of these bus stops that have been in place for “numerous years” and there have not been any recorded injury accidents that could be in any way connected to the presence of these bus stops. In the absence of any additional evidenced information that would contradict the presumption on the continuance of the use of these locations as bus stops, I would not consider that there is any justification for reassessing them.’

On this basis the stops will not have any assessment conducted at this time.


Kind regards,
Bus Infrastructure Officer



And my response:


Boxgrove is not an existing bus stop.
It is a new / moved bus stop and therefore would not fall under the "always been there" clause.
There is also the proviso that the buses can stop parallel to the kerb. They can't.

Bognor high street.
The traffic plan has changed around this stop. So should have been reassessed as a matter of course.

Just because no accidents have happened -yet- does not make it safe.



Good Morning,

I can answer for the stop at Boxgrove. The Parish Council complained to the local member and argued that the new location of the stop should be allowed and provided data showing that speeds were much lower than the 30mph around that area. Our Traffic Engineer also found some data that supported their claims and therefore he reassessed the site and approved it on the basis that the data meant the stop fell within the parameters defined in para 7.1 of the SOP.  I have attached the completed assessment that you will be able to view.

Knd regards,

Bus Infrastructure Officer



My argument:

Hello.
Yes section 27 and 30 are the relevant sections which are failing.

The speed stop data was recorded over 100 metres away.

With those consideration and the fact no impact assessment has been done on many stops since the equality act I will chase the matter further.


And the Officer does a runner

In order to ensure that we are being GDPR compliant and not providing you with information that 3rd parties may consider to be sensitive. I would encourage you to get in touch with Boxgrove Parish council over this who I am sure would be able to supply you with a copy of their application when it was submitted.

 

Kind regards,


Bus Infrastructure Officer





      

    

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