Safe entry to St Thomas's

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Wednesday 1 June 2016 12.49pm
Guy's and St Thomas's NHS Trust has a petition on their website asking TfL to rethink its plan to put the bus stops for St Thomas' and the Evelina Children's Hospitals out on to islands so that everyone arriving by bus or on foot has to cross a cycle track to enter or leave the Hospitals. As well as an opportunity to sign, and more information about TfL "thinking" , there are now numerous comments from the public about their experiences of bus islands.
Wednesday 1 June 2016 4.13pm
Here's a link to the petition.
https://www.change.org/p/transport-for-london-keep-our-bus-stops-safe
It's a very dangerous scheme in a place with a lot of pedestrians, many of whom are vulnerable through age, illness or disability, but Westminster Bridge is also heaving with tourists and thousands of cyclists at all times of day. TFL really needs to rethink this before it is too late.
Wednesday 1 June 2016 4.54pm
I cycle every day over Westminster bridge and I don't find it unsafe in its current design by the hospital entrance.
The only hazard is on the East side where tourists and runners step off the pavement without looking, so I always have to cycle in the bus lane instead of the cycle lane. So I would not be happy about a segregated cycle lane leaving cyclists in direct confrontation with pedestrians without any escape.
So far, I am not impressed with the segregated lane on Westminster square, makes you wait forever and too narrow whereas before you could glide around the square with cars without an issue...It is safer but it won't be long before confident cyclists ignore those cycle lanes and go with normal traffic again to save precious time off their commute.
Thursday 2 June 2016 4.07pm
connie wrote:
I cycle every day over Westminster bridge and I don't find it unsafe in its current design by the hospital entrance.
The only hazard is on the East side where tourists and runners step off the pavement without looking, so I always have to cycle in the bus lane instead of the cycle lane. So I would not be happy about a segregated cycle lane leaving cyclists in direct confrontation with pedestrians without any escape.
So far, I am not impressed with the segregated lane on Westminster square, makes you wait forever and too narrow whereas before you could glide around the square with cars without an issue...It is safer but it won't be long before confident cyclists ignore those cycle lanes and go with normal traffic again to save precious time off their commute.

I have to say I have a similar opinion of the segregated section from Farringdon down to Blackfriars. It is so crowded and stop-start during rush hour compared to the main carriageway where you can easily and safely (if you are alert to your surroundings) travel with the flow of traffic.

I get that segregated cycle lanes are the best option, but it does frustrate me that they end up slowing me down rather than speeding me up!
Thursday 2 June 2016 6.38pm
I don't understand the problem. There is already a pedestrian/cyclist shared path outside the hospital, and has been for many years. There's even a toucan crossing (for cyclists and pedestrians) right outside the main pedestrian entrance to the hospital, and has been for many years.

If anything the segregated bike lane and bus stop bypass will improve things. No longer will cyclists and pedestrians have to share the same space.

And anyway, what's the problem with getting off a bus and crossing 1.5m wide bike lane? If you are coming from the north and leave the bus alongside County Hall you need to cross six lanes of traffic!
Thursday 2 June 2016 8.42pm
No problem for pedestrians, as long as the cyclists stop for the red lights.

...if you press it, they will come.
Saturday 4 June 2016 1.15pm
bohrsatom does not understand that the problem in TfL's proposal that pedestrians would have to cross a 1.5 m wide bike lane to enter St Thomas's and the Evelina Hospitals. If he tried doing this blindfold, or on newly acquired crutches or rushing a sick child in while holding on to another child, or .... including on wet winter mornings or evenings, he might get it.
Of course it is appalling now to walk from Waterloo Station or the bus stop opposite County Hall to the Hospitals but two wrongs don't make a right. TfL needs a planner who knows there are pedestrians in London.

It would certainly be great if ALL cyclists stopped for red lights. I was using the toucan crossing bohrstom refers to when a cyclist crashed into us, knocking over an elderly man who had just been discharged from St T's. Fortunately several people from crossing then intervened to stop the son, escorting his father home from hospital, attacking the cyclist. In the same week a cyclist collided with those using a pedestrian crossing on Waterloo Rd. This time it was the cyclist on the floor. Only 3 of us stopped to look after the cyclist. Others too angry with cyclists to do so. All cyclists need to respect the rules of the road, but poor planning, like that proposed for around St T's endangers everyone and sets cycling and walking against one another even though many people do both.
Zoe
Saturday 4 June 2016 2.30pm
I don't want to get into any discussion if it just descends into a rant about cyclists running red lights. All the stats prove that cyclists and drivers have a similar level of rule breaking, the focus on cyclists is just a bizarre bias against them.
Saturday 4 June 2016 4.51pm
Putting the 'cyclists running red lights' argument aside - we all know where that will end up - my main issue is that it's absurd for a hospital to be actively campaigning against safe cycling. Nationwide there are huge problems with obesity and lack of exercise which lead to long term health problems in old age. In London, air pollution is so bad that nearly 9500 people die prematurely every year. Together these put enormous pressure on the healthcare system.

Cycling is a great solution to both problems, but it needs to be seen as a safe mode of transport. More money needs to be invested in making cycling safer throughout the city. Increased levels of cycling means fewer people through the doors of the hospital, more money to spend on essential care and a happy, healthy city. I do not understand how a hospital trust can be against that.
Saturday 4 June 2016 6.12pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
No problem for pedestrians, as long as the cyclists stop for the red lights.

Will there be red lights? I haven't seen the plans for this particular bus-stop, but the similarly situated island bus-stops on the recently opened cycle highways on Blackfriars Road, the Embankment, E&C etc don't have lights protecting pedestrian access to them - simply a raised area in the cycle track between the island bus-stop and the pavement. We were recently told on this forum that in Denmark in such situations, when a bus is at the stop, cyclists are required by law to STOP and give way to passengers getting on and off it. As far as I know there is no such law in this country and nothing (yet) in the Highway Code advising either pedestrians or cyclists how to behave. And any cyclist riding on something described as a 'superhighway' might be justified in expecting a pretty clear run.
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