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A 'floating' bus stop in London
Photograph: STEFAN-KADAR

What are ‘floating’ bus stops and why do people want to ban them?

Campaigners are calling for a ban on floating bus stops across the capital. Here’s why

Written by
Imogen Williams

Floating bus stops… you’ll certainly have seen ’em around. You might even have whizzed past one on a Lime bike. London has 164 of them across 18 boroughs, and campaigners are saying the bus stop designs need to be ‘urgently halted’. 

But what exactly are ‘floating’ bus stops? And why are they at the centre of such a heated debate? Here’s everything you need to know.

What are ‘floating’ bus stops?

Floating bus stops are where there is a cycle lane between the pavement and the bus stop. The idea is that cyclists can keep riding while bus passengers disembark instead of having to overtake the bus as it pulls in to the stop. As London’s network of cycle lanes has expanded in recent years, so has its number of floating bus stops. 

TfL has funded over 160 of them in a bid to reduce accidents involving cyclists. 

Why do people want to ban floating bus stops?

The stops have divided opinion, with some campaigners calling out for a ban of the design.

A recent video posted by the National Federation of the Blind UK (NFB) shows a pedestrian falling to the ground after a cyclist knocks him off balance in the cycle lane between the bus and the pavement. The incident happened at the floating stop outside St Thomas' Hospital near Waterloo. The NFB described the scene as a ‘chaotic and downright dangerous situation’.

The NFB has now started a petition to ban the stops which has been signed by over 270 organisations, including Age UK London and the London Sports Club for the Blind and Disability Rights UK. It will be handed to Downing Street later today (May 15). 

Recently re-elected Mayor of London Sadiq Khan introduced the floating stops during his second term in an attempt to improve cyclist safety.

Christina Calderato, TfL’s director of transport strategy and policy, supports Khan’s introduction of the bus stop bypasses. She said: ‘Any moratorium on bus stop bypasses would put at risk the programme of work we are undertaking to improve cycle safety in London and encourage more people to cycle.’

Did you see that London’s ‘Boris Buses’ are being taken off the streets after just 12 years?

Plus: Which London borough has the most Lime bike commuters?

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