Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The new bus shelters - continued

As noted in my last post some of the new Edinburgh bus shelters are facing into the roadway giving no spray protection to waiting passengers.  Some take up rather a large footprint on the pavement as well and some have no sides - giving very limited wind/rain protection.

I have spoken with the member of the Council team involved in implementing the ten year contract with JCDecaux.

First the lack of sides;  there has been a supply problem and we can expect the sides (or ends) of the deficient shelters to be fitted in the coming weeks and months.  But there are a number of other issues which have been considered.

  • generally outward facing shelters have been placed where there are low traffic speeds
  • outward facing shelters give better circulation space - especially for wheelchairs and pushchairs and they provide slightly more flexibility for the stopping point for bus drivers especially when there are queueing buses
  • these shelters provide better separation between stationary passengers and other people with an interest in pavement use.  This is particularly so for premises/shops adjacent to bus stops and for moving pedestrians who find their passage blocked by passengers milling around a bus stop.  An example of where this is a significant issue is in Nicolson Street outside (and across from) Lidl's though I am not clear that the width of the pavement will allow an outward facing shelter there.
  • there is also a feeling that, where anti-social behaviour is attracted to bus shelters, outward facing shelters will tend to expose to view and thereby discourage such behaviour
Finally for now, I am aware that one factor considered is provision of good visibility for the advertising - as you would expect.  If the overall contract is a success, there may be opportunity for additional shelters to be provided by JCDecaux (i.e from those currently owned and maintained by Edinburgh Council.

This does not answer all the issues but I hope it clarifies some of the issues I have been asked about.


Anonymous said...

Many thanks for the links to the blog and the council response.

However I do feel that you are all missing the most salient point.

By dint of their name the structures are “Bus shelters” but the new “shelters” do not fulfil this purpose.

They afford little or no shelter from the harsh Edinburgh weather, road spray and grime, much of which comes at you from the roadside not the building side.
They should be renamed “ advertising hoardings” which is their main purpose. The seats inside will also be much more difficult to keep clean as they will be totally open to the elements.
The works associated with their installation are causing inconvenience and disruption and seem totally unnecessary in that perfectly serviceable shelters are being replaced by these not fit for purpose advertising hoardings.
The specious rationale for the design put forward by the PR people at Decaux is obviously the victory of style over substance and is reminiscent of the failed City of Edinburgh central traffic experiment a few years ago which bit the dust after public outcry.
Anne Harris

Cameron Rose said...

Anne, All noted.
"I do feel that you are all missing the most salient point" I don't think the point is missed - it is noted and has been taken into account - but not raised above the other considerations. I appreciate some of these bus stops are more exposed but there are other considerations being taken into account and at least in my enquiries I am clear there has been considerable thought into the various, and sometimes competing, considerations. Whilst there are differing views of which is the priority - I think there always will be.

Whether the right conclusion has been reached there will be differing views.

Best wishes and thank you for engaging.

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