Edinburgh City Council promises road safety audit before any more 'floating' bus stops

COUNCIL chiefs have promised controversial plans for "floating bus stops" will not go ahead until after a road safety audit is carried out.

By Ian Swanson
Tuesday, 27th October 2020, 12:30 pm
Floating bus stops are already in place on George IV Bridge   Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Floating bus stops are already in place on George IV Bridge Picture: Lisa Ferguson

The move was hailed as a welcome U-turn after warnings about the risks which the stops - separated from the kerb by cycle lanes - posed to pedestrians.

Floating bus stops are already in place on George IV Bridge and Leith Walk.

And a total of 14 were planned for Lanark Road, with others proposed for Comiston Road and potentially other routes where Spaces for People measures are brought in.

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But in a note to Colinton/Fairmilehead Conservative councillor Jason Rust, officials said floating bus stops would not be part of the first phase of the Lanark Road scheme, which would focus on cycle lanes and bollards. “We will then continue to review and consider the introduction of the floating bus stops. These will only be implemented subjectto a specific road safety audit.”

Cllr Rust said: "This is quite a turnaround and I am pleased the council has at last retreated from the worrying extensive roll-out of floating bus stops. It is a sensible move to have a specific road safety audit in advance and I welcome this belated recognition.”

However, the council insisted road safety audits were always part of its plan before the stops were put in place.

Charities RNIB and Living Streets were among those voicing concerns about the arrangement which means passengers having to cross a cycle lane to get on and off the bus.

But in August the council’s SNP/Labour administration rejected calls for a pause on the floating bus stops to allow a thorough consultation process.

Cllr Rust said he had reviewed emails between himself and the council when he was raising concerns about the stops and receiving explanations and he could see no mention of road safety audits in advance.

Transport vice-convener Karen Doran said: “As stakeholders and local councillors have been made aware, we are following a similar process to the implementation of Spaces for People on Comiston Road. This has involved installing initial, quicker measures such as lining and cycle segregation, allowing us to monitor the changes and carry out a road safety audit once they are in place. This will then help inform further changes, including bus stop bypasses.”

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