The Green Party has today unveiled plans for a vastly improved new bus stops for London’s streets.
Sian Berry, the Greens’ candidate for Mayor in the London elections on May 6, has pledged that she will commission a full redesign to be used for all Transport for London bus stops as soon as possible.
The key features of the Green proposals include:
- Real-time bus arrival time and air pollution information
- Shelters with proper, comfortable seating, with arms to help older and disabled people stand up
- A ban on unethical advertising, and ring-fenced advertising space for local small businesses and services
- Solar generating glazing
- Attractive, bee-friendly planting on the shelter rooftop, alongside further solar power generation
- Zebra crossings across any cycle paths next to the bus stop and new pedestrian crossings in the right place for every main road bus stop
The proposal for a new standard bus shelter responds to problems raised by Londoners with transport infrastructure.
These include badly designed seating, the lack of safe crossings on main roads that help people reach bus stops and the removal by TfL of many “countdown” boards showing when the next buses will arrive.
Live information is less available now despite London Travelwatch surveys consistently finding this is a high priority for bus users, and that older freedom pass holders are less likely to own a smartphone to be able to access online substitutes.
The Green bus stop also adds bee-friendly roofs, which have been successfully pioneered in the Netherlands.
The London Green Party believes that the upgraded bus stops will support a greener London, providing better, more comfortable public transport journeys for older passengers, disabled passengers, and passengers in outer London who are more dependent on bus journeys.
Caroline Russell, the London Assembly AM and Green Party transport spokesperson, said, “Whenever I chat to people at bus stops, it becomes more and more clear that they aren’t good enough for the older people and those living in outer London who rely upon them.
“Greens will develop a new higher standard for bus stops in London, making them better, more comfortable, more accessible to all Londoners, particularly older and disabled people, and greener, too.”
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Real time bus arrivals in every bus stop will be really good, as will decent seats with some arms.
Bus stop seating are the modern equivalent of the medieval church misericord seats, that allowed the sitter to park their bottom, but not go to sleep, or the seat collapses- you fall off. Our bus shelter seats are designed as rounded perching spots to stop rough sleepers.
The seats will have to be designed well to avoid abuse and accumulation of dirt.
Sadly, there was no mention of litter and vandalism.
The green roofs sound a lovely idea, but UK bus stop roofs are littered with drink cans.
Every bus stop has a halo of litter behind and around it.
In my view, every bus stop should have a litter bin–a big one, and it should be emptied daily. One bin for a pair of adjacent bus stops is not enough– one bin per bus stop is what is needed. I am pretty sure that Croydon has removed a bin at one of my local bus stops — perhaps in an attempt to save money.
Glass panels are regularly smashed to smithereens, and I doubt if the glass is recycled.
Solar panels sound good in theory, but I would locate these on the roof, as side panels tend to get grafitti and fly posting– nothing looks so bad as hi-tech features that are not working and scratched.
Not only is a good design needed, with vandal proof materials, but funding is needed for councils to provide and empy litter bins at each bus stop (plus a team to go round and pick off the litter thrown up on the roofs)
Greens need to realise that we are not as neat as they are in the Nethertlands, Germany and many other countries across the water in Euroland.
I would also like to see some regional design variation within London, with thatched bus shelters on the Bucks/ Herts fringes, ones with pop-up counters for skinny latte coffees in trendy Peckham and Hackney, and traditional whelk and winkle stall add-ons for Fridays and Weekends in Mitcham, Bermondsey and Barking, and ones with quaintly pitched roofs made of hand made clay tiles in rich orange and red tones, too, for the Surrey-in-London shelters of our own South-of-Croydon area.
All shelters would have weather cocks on top, of course, so that as one observes the world from the top of a shiny new scarlet-painted Transport for London hydrogen and solar powered double decker, looking down on the bees happily harvesting pesticide-free London nectar from the bus stop green roof, one can see the direction the wind is blowing the effluent stream from the Beddington incinerator.
With the fall out of COVID we’re gonna need some good ideas to help the local economy and people in general. Nice idea about the bus stops but maybe not that urgent in the current situation
I can assure you that we have a whole raft of proposals on a green recovery from the corona virus crisis. These ideas for bus stops are just one small example of our different way of approaching everyday issues. We can make life better for Londoners, improve our environment and our public services.
Quick question, how much is this going to add to OUR Council Tax bills to pay for all this to be installed, bearing in mind that Labour have ALREADY bankrupted the Croydon Council, expect US to pay for the overspend on the Fairfield Halls update etc, etc? I can only speak for myself, but I certainly do NOT have bottomless pockets to pay for all this!
Very little, since it would come out of TfL’s existing budgets that pay for the replacement and upkeep of bus stops.
It would be very interesting to find out how much Ken Livingstone’s “Bendy buses” ( better known -quite understyandabl- ) as “free buses” to a huge number of fare-avoiding passengers), and Boris Johnson’s modern Olympic-era interpretation of the iconic Routemaster bus both cost .
Then find out the cost of a Green Party Bus shelter, and how much a roll out over 5 years might cost TfL (aka ” the London council tax payer”)
Many of our bus shelters used to be funded by advertising , in both provision and installation– via a company cleverly called “Adshel” and a French street furniture empire called “JC Decaux”. Maybe they still are. The adverts paid for much or maybe all of the shelter and its ongoing cleaning– the latter is a significant task and cost.
Adverts for fizzy drinks and takeaways, crisps and polluting motor cars would probably be banned by the Greens, so whether there would be enough “advertiser buck” to subsidise bus stops and the all -important maintenance is open to question.
I hope that the Greens have the sense to do pilot study of a 1000 shelters in 1000 days if they get into power, befote rollout across the capital. Avoid teething problems etc