diamond geezer

 Thursday, June 28, 2007

Last requests

request stopLondon has a new endangered species. They're tall and red, with a grey stripe and a white underbelly. They tend to perch by the roadside or stand on street corners. They're almost always seen in pairs. They're request stops. And they've been earmarked for extinction.
TfL have been reviewing the current system of request and compulsory stops in London. We propose to remove the distinction between compulsory and request stops. This will result in a single approach to the use of all bus stops. Both passengers and drivers will be affected.
Bus stops - both compulsory and request - have been used in London for about 70 years, and there are now more than 18000 of them. At compulsory stops (red roundel on white) buses always stop, even if no passenger requests it. At request stops (white roundel on red), buses only stop if someone on the pavement gesticulates or if someone on board the bus dings the bell. That's what's supposed to happen anyway. But not for much longer.

TfL want to simplify the current system because it's a bit confusing for customers (especially tourists and those with an IQ below 70). Starting this autumn all London bus stops will be compulsory bus stops, with just one set of rules. Passengers won't have to think "Ooh, is the next stop a request stop? Do I need to ring the bell?" because there wont be any request stops any more. And because they will have to ring the bell.
The changes are as follows:
• When a passenger is waiting at a stop, buses must stop at that stop. Currently, this is the current practice for compulsory stops, unless the bus is full.
• When a passenger is on the bus and wants to get off at the next stop, they must ring the bell to indicate they want the bus to stop. In effect, this is already the current practice for most passengers.
Ringing the bell to get off the bus shouldn't be too much of a hardship because, according to a TfL survey, 80% of people do it already. And everybody does it on nightbuses. But passengers may take rather longer to get used to the new waiting arrangements. Look, here comes a bus. Dont worry, you don't have to wave at it, because it's going to stop anyway. It won't drive past, honest it won't. Because drivers are going to be following new instructions.
Bus drivers will be instructed that they must stop if:
- There are people waiting
- There is a possibility that people are waiting
- Their view of the bus stop is impaired
- Someone has rung the bell

Drivers can only drive past a bus stop if:
- No one has rung the bell
- They believe beyond reasonable doubt that no one is waiting at the bus stop
- There are passengers waiting at the bus stop, but the bus is full
Yes, that's bound to work isn't it? Drivers will love stopping all the time, even when it's obvious that nobody wants to get on, just in case somebody does. And this change will mean that bus services in London can only get slower. Previously buses only wasted their time by pulling in at every compulsory stop. Now they're going to waste their time by pulling in at every stop. If ten different routes use one particular bus stop, all ten routes will have to stop even if a passenger is waiting for only one of them. If a couple of teenagers are having a chat on the pavement within a few feet of a bus stop, all the buses are going to have to stop. The drivers will flap their doors open, sit and wait for a few seconds while the kids ignore them, and then close the doors and wait to pull back out into the traffic again. Simpler rules to understand, yes. But faster bus services? Afraid not.
Proposed date for changes to the bus stop flag: TfL is establishing the costs and viability of covering all request stop heads with a temporary white bus stop overlay - as a short-term measure this will eliminate customer confusion. Longer term, a programme of replacement would take place as equipment became life-expired or warranted exchange for some other reason.
compulsory stopSo, the days of the request stop appear to be numbered. If you have any thoughts on these proposals, TfL's Head of Stakeholder Engagement for Surface Transport would like to hear from you. There's a consultation period until 20th July, including a "response framework" questionnaire for interested parties to fill in. Unless responses are numerous and negative, expect all of London's red bus stops to turn white in the Autumn. And be prepared to spend even longer travelling on buses as drivers are forced to pull in to pick up people who didn't wave because they didn't want to get on board. Ding ding.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream