Busy Edinburgh route to get biggest number of 'floating' bus stops so far

Floating bus stops are positioned between cycle lanes and the roadwayFloating bus stops are positioned between cycle lanes and the roadway
Floating bus stops are positioned between cycle lanes and the roadway
FOURTEEN controversial "floating" bus stops are included in the latest Spaces for People initiative for a busy Edinburgh road.

The plans for Lanark Road will see the biggest number of such stops proposed anywhere in the Capital so far.

Instead of being at the kerbside, floating bus stops are positioned between a cycle lane and the road, meaning people using the stops have to cross the cycle lane each time they get on or off a bus, relying on cyclists to heed signs to slow down.

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The proposals also include one "bus boarder” stop – where passengers must get onto the bus direct from the cycle lane.

The scheme for Lanark Road and Longstone/ Inglis Green Road involves segregated cycleways, new sections of bus lane and junction improvements under emergency traffic measures to help pedestrians and cyclists travel safely while meeting physical distancing requirements.

But floating bus stops – which are also planned for Comiston Road – have been criticised by sight loss charity RNIB, which says they create “an unacceptable level of risk” to those with impaired mobility.

And walking charity Living Streets called in August for the suspension of any further floating bus stops in the pipeline, warning against the “rushed roll-out of untested cycle infrastructure in Edinburgh” which increased risks for pedestrians

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Colinton/Fairmilehead Tory councillor Jason Rust said the council was pushing ahead with the plans for floating bus stops and bus boarders despite serious safety concerns.

“It seems incredible there is this comprehensive rushed roll-out despite apparently no public demand on the Council's own portal and given all of the issues raised by RNIB, Living Streets Edinburgh and other organisations,” he said.

“A thorough road safety audit is required prior to implementation and there is still no sign of the promised public awareness communications campaign by the local authority.

“These schemes are meant to improve safety, but instead appear haphazard and are potentially creating increased risk for vulnerable road users.

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“Encouraging more active transport is welcome, but designs must enhance and safeguard the independent mobility of all pedestrians, including the vulnerable and disabled and their safe access on and off public transport, as well as ensuring the safety of cyclists.”

The council says floating bus stops were introduced to Leith Walk some time ago and insists advance warning signs and line markings will ensure cyclists give way to pedestrians getting on and off buses.

Transport convener Lesley Macinnes said: “Our proposals to introduce segregated cycle lanes along Lanark Road and Longstone Road, alongside other changes including improvements to junctions and the removal of guardrails, aim to make it safer and easier to travel by foot, bike or wheelchair while observing physical distancing.

“We appreciate that introducing floating bus stops and parking spaces is new for the city and that it may feel unfamiliar to some road users. However, all changes will comply with national and local guidance and such designs are a successful feature of many cities around the world, helping to provide more options for use of space on our streets.”

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