Petition launched to challenge 'dangerous' bus stop outside hospital

Friday 13 May 2016

Floating bus stop outside St Thomas'

A petition calling on Transport for London (TfL) to rethink proposals for a ‘floating’ bus stop outside St Thomas’ Hospital is being backed by groups representing patients, people affected by sight loss, and pensioners.

They are concerned that TfL’s plans for new cycle lanes and bus stops on Westminster Bridge Road are dangerous. Hospital patients, visitors and staff getting off buses would have to cross a busy cycle lane to reach the hospital.

Sir Hugh Taylor, Chairman of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, says: “We support cycling as part of our commitment to promoting healthier travel to work and reducing environmental pollution, for example by enabling staff to buy bikes as a tax-free benefit through a salary sacrifice scheme.

“However, we believe that TfL’s plans for cycle lanes and so-called ‘floating’ bus stops on Westminster Bridge pose risks to both pedestrians and cyclists.

“We are particularly concerned about the impact on patients and carers, especially the elderly, disabled, and families with children in buggies and wheelchairs coming to Evelina London Children’s Hospital at St Thomas’.”

The petition, which urges TfL to rethink its proposals for cycle lanes and bus stops on Westminster Bridge and to consult on revised plans, is being supported by Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey, whose constituency includes St Thomas’ Hospital. She is calling on the newly elected Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to intervene personally.

She warns: “TfL’s plans for so-called ‘floating’ bus stops are potentially dangerous. Every day thousands of patients – many of them elderly, pregnant or with sick children – use the bus stop outside St Thomas’.

“The present plans ignore this vulnerable population and I do not believe that adequate thought has been given to their needs. The new Mayor must step in to stop TfL ignoring the hospital, patients and the local community.”

Ellen Lebethe, Chairman of Lambeth Pensioners Action Group, agrees: “All Londoners, especially the most vulnerable, have the right to safety on the roads and not to have their safety and lives compromised.

“Older people visiting St Thomas’ as patients or as visitors should have the same confidence when crossing the roads as they do in their healthcare.”

Marsha de Cordova, Engagement and Advocacy Director of Thomas Pocklington Trust – a national charity which supports people affected by sight loss – adds: “TfL’s plans for a cycle superhighway and ‘floating’ bus stop at the south end of Westminster Bridge will be dangerous to pedestrians, particularly blind and partially sighted people.”

Professor John Porter is Lead Governor of Guy’s and St Thomas’ Council of Governors which includes elected representatives of patients, members of the public and staff.

Professor Porter says: “We are very concerned that having to cross a busy, uncontrolled cycle lane will put often vulnerable people at considerable risk.”

Last updated: May 2016

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