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“Please help me persuade Transport for London to reduce illegal parking (with councils) and ensure buses stop at stops” – Angel Belsey

Description

Angel Belsey

I have lodged a complaint with TFL because I think their support around working with councils to increase deterrents to illegal parking, as well as a change in policy to ensure bus drivers actually stop at bus stops even when they are blocked by coaches, can at least partially resolve situations like the one described at http://www.flickr.com/photos/angeljohnson/5937011275/

Images and media

Problem History

  • 1 Angel Belsey reported the issue on FixMyTransport. close 13:27 25 Aug 2011
  • 2 Angel Belsey wrote to Transport for London close 13:27 25 Aug 2011

    Here is the letter that Angel Belsey wrote.

    illegal parking at Aldwych bus stops, AND non-stopping buses

    During the rush hour, private coaches have a habit (one would be tempted to call it a policy) of parking illegally at bus stops near Aldwych in order to pick up matinee theatre-goers. I recently experienced one coach, from Golden Boy Coaches, parked at the 76 bus stop at Aldwych for over 20 minutes without any sign of picking up any passengers.

    While the driver was relaxed about the situation (he told me that he could "legally wait for up to 20 minutes" at the stop), the passengers at the bus stop were not relaxed, because the presence of the coach at the bus stop meant that many of the buses meant to pick up passengers were opting not to stop at all.

    Afterward I confirmed with Westminster Council that a PCN should be issued instantly after 10 minutes of parking on a double yellow line, but there was no sign of any parking official who had the power to issue a PCN. However, two TFL officers did appear on the scene to ask the coach driver to move. The coach driver refused.

    I have described the incident, with photographs and data around the time the driver was blocking the bus stop, at http://www.flickr.com/photos/angeljohnson/5937011275/ and Golden Boy Coaches have responded in a way that indicates that they don't find this to be a problem. They also seem to indicate that their actions were legal, or at least so commonplace as to have become quasi-legal.

    At 5pm, people are at bus stops because they need to get somewhere after work. What they don't need is a 20+-minute delay to their journeys because of coach drivers who flout the law, as the Golden Boy driver in this case clearly and openly did, without any fear of consequences.

    1. Can TFL work with the public and local councils to ensure that private coaches and their drivers are sufficiently penalised by this sort of behaviour to avoid doing it in the first place? Clearly the meagre penalties in place are not a deterrent.

    2. I am also concerned by the statement a TFL officer at the scene made when I complained about the buses not stopping. He said that many bus drivers like to see a coach at the bus stop because they think it means they don't have to stop there. He further said that bus drivers are no longer reprimanded for not stopping in that case.

    While I understand the challenges that bus drivers face with coaches and other vehicles at bus stops, surely this behaviour cannot be allowed--surely the bus should make every attempt to stop just ahead of the coach, or at the nearest safe place? The 76 buses that did not stop actually went to the other lane at Aldwych, across the median, and did not even pretend to look at the passengers who were hailing it. This surely cannot be acceptable.

    So there are two parts to this problem: what TFL can do to improve deterrents to illegal coach parking, and how TFL can help ensure buses actually stop to pick up passengers.

    I look forward to your help.

    Thank you,
    Angel

  • 3 [email address] responded to Angel Belsey close 13:36 25 Aug 2011
    Thank you for your email. We can now confirm that this has been
    received.

    For further information about the Surface Transport Complaints
    and Feedback Policy including timescales, please see
    [1]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...

    Problems with roadworks or other street faults? In support of
    the Mayor’s Streetworks Code of Conduct to help cut congestion,
    please report these issues by visiting
    [2]http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...

    show quoted sections

    References

    Visible links
    1. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tf...
    2. http://www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/reportas...
  • 4 Angel Belsey added an update close 13:42 25 Aug 2011

    The current situation is described at http://www.flickr.com/photos/angeljohnson/5937011275/. Golden Boy Coaches are unrepentant, but their data ("the driver arrived at 17:17") and my Exif data (photo taken at 17:29) demonstrate clearly that the driver should have been issued an instant PCN. Sadly there were no parking authorities nearby to move the driver on or issue him with a PCN, which meant buses simply didn't stop.

  • 5 Roger Riggs commented close 11:00 28 Aug 2011

    I think that the key here is that the bus stop is not marked by way of any sign as ‘local’ or ‘TFL only’ which means that all PSVs (buses & coaches) are entitled to stop here. Coaches are not allowed to stop on bus stops that have signs stating ‘local’ or ‘TFL only’. If these signs are not in place, coaches can indeed wait for up to 20 minutes on any yellow line.

    In addition, TFL officers have no jurisdiction over parking or illegal waiting. Only Westminster Council or the Police can issues PCNs or force vehicles to move on.

    The fact your buses didn't stop is harsh but the fault of the bus drivers who did not stop. The Aldwych is generally accepted as the location for coaches to pick up and drop off for Covent Garden and the West End theatres - this is because the streets around Covent Garden are too small for most coaches and there is nowhere else! Service bus drivers know this and also know the peak times of day that this happens - As professional drivers, these bus drivers should be able to deal with the situation and continue to pick up their passengers as normal.

    Not the coach driver's fault as the facilities for visiting coaches to Westminster are inadequate.

  • 6 Tom Steinberg advised Angel to write to Westminster City Council. close 13:34 01 Sep 2011

    Hi Angel,

    Hello there - I'm not sure if you remember meeting me with Anna in that park in Hackney, long ago. Anyway, I'm the director of mySociety, which built FixMyTransport and I'm writing to help you with your bus stop campaign.

    Before you can do much else you need to get straight what the council thinks about this, and what they're doing. To that end I've made a link (below) that will let you write directly to the council about this. Why not click and take a minute to drop them a note?

    Hope you're liking the site!

    Tom

    Good luck!

    Tom Steinberg

    anorak
    admin
  • 7 [email address] responded to Angel Belsey close 12:22 21 Sep 2011
    Our Ref:         1009400889

    Date:              21.09.2011

    Ms A Belsey

    [reduce illegal parking (with councils) and ensure buses stop at stops email]

    Dear Ms Belsey,

    Thank you for your feedback concerning the problems you have
    experienced with coaches parking at the bus stops at Aldwych and
    also with drivers of route 76 failing to stop.

    I can understand how frustrating it must be when coaches park in
    the bus stops and as a result drivers of route 76 buses fail to
    pick up passengers. I am sorry for the inconvenience caused.

    With regards to the coaches parking in the bus stops, they
    should not be parking at the bus stops in question. Transport
    for London (TfL) knows that this is an on-going issue and we are
    working very closely with coach companies to improve the
    accessibility of the bus stops for our passengers. We have
    designated coach stands along Embankment, Kingsway, the Strand
    and Russell Street as part of a trial to introduce improved
    access to the West End. It is disappointing to hear that coaches
    are still parking on Aldwych.

    TfL work very closely with the local borough councils to enforce
    parking issues across London. TfL are only responsible for
    enforcing those roads on the red route network. The red route
    network is a network of roads owned by TfL and consists of the
    key roads into and out of London. Aldwych is owned by
    Westminster Council. It is therefore the responsibility of
    Westminster Council to enforce the parking regulations on
    Aldwych.

    In relation to route 76 buses failing to stop as a result of the
    coach parked in the stop, this is very disappointing to hear.
    Our drivers are trained to stop at stops where people are
    waiting. If another bus is blocking the stop, the driver should
    wait until it has moved away to ensure he doesn’t miss any
    waiting passengers. If a coach is parked at the bus stop, the
    bus should at least pull in behind it to allow passengers to
    board or to exit. It is disappointing to hear that these basic
    procedures weren’t in your experience.

    In view of your feedback, I have contacted Arriva who operate
    route 76 on our behalf. Arriva will remind all drivers of the
    correct stopping procedures and will encourage drivers to report
    coaches that are parked at bus stops to the Central
    Communications Centre. If you continue to experience drivers
    failing to stop at this location, please email me with details
    of the route number, time, date and bus registration number if
    possible. This will help to identify individual drivers so that
    necessary disciplinary action can be taken.

    Thank you for bringing these incidents to my attention. I hope
    your future bus journeys are more pleasant. If you have any
    further queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

    Yours sincerely,

    Sarah Green 

    Customer Service Advisor

    DO NOT DELETE.............................
    {ticketno:[2007854]}
    DO NOT DELETE.............................

    Original Text

    From: [email address]
    To: [Transport for London problem reporting email] <[email address]>
    CC: [email address] <[email address]>
    Sent: 25.08.11 13:35:03
    Subject: Problem Report: illegal parking at Aldwych bus stops,
    AND non-stopping buses

    Dear Transport for London,

    The problem report below has been sent to you via the website
    FixMyTransport.com.

    It refers to a problem at the Aldwych bus stop

    -----------------

    From: Angel Belsey, <[reduce illegal parking (with councils) and ensure buses stop at stops email]>

    Subject: illegal parking at Aldwych bus stops, AND non-stopping
    buses

    Details:

    During the rush hour, private coaches have a habit (one would be
    tempted to call it a policy) of parking illegally at bus stops
    near
    Aldwych in order to pick up matinee theatre-goers. I recently
    experienced one coach, from Golden Boy Coaches, parked at the 76
    bus stop at Aldwych for over 20 minutes without any sign of
    picking
    up any passengers.

    While the driver was relaxed about the situation (he told me
    that
    he could "legally wait for up to 20 minutes" at the stop), the
    passengers at the bus stop were not relaxed, because the
    presence
    of the coach at the bus stop meant that many of the buses meant
    to
    pick up passengers were opting not to stop at all.

    Afterward I confirmed with Westminster Council that a PCN should
    be
    issued instantly after 10 minutes of parking on a double yellow
    line, but there was no sign of any parking official who had the
    power to issue a PCN. However, two TFL officers did appear on
    the
    scene to ask the coach driver to move. The coach driver refused.

    I have described the incident, with photographs and data around
    the
    time the driver was blocking the bus stop, at
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/angeljohnso... and Golden
    Boy Coaches have responded in a way that indicates that they
    don't
    find this to be a problem. They also seem to indicate that their
    actions were legal, or at least so commonplace as to have become
    quasi-legal.

    At 5pm, people are at bus stops because they need to get
    somewhere
    after work. What they don't need is a 20+-minute delay to their
    journeys because of coach drivers who flout the law, as the
    Golden
    Boy driver in this case clearly and openly did, without any fear
    of
    consequences.

    1. Can TFL work with the public and local councils to ensure
    that
    private coaches and their drivers are sufficiently penalised by
    this sort of behaviour to avoid doing it in the first place?
    Clearly the meagre penalties in place are not a deterrent.

    2. I am also concerned by the statement a TFL officer at the
    scene
    made when I complained about the buses not stopping. He said
    that
    many bus drivers like to see a coach at the bus stop because
    they
    think it means they don't have to stop there. He further said
    that
    bus drivers are no longer reprimanded for not stopping in that
    case.

    While I understand the challenges that bus drivers face with
    coaches and other vehicles at bus stops, surely this behaviour
    cannot be allowed--surely the bus should make every attempt to
    stop
    just ahead of the coach, or at the nearest safe place? The 76
    buses
    that did not stop actually went to the other lane at Aldwych,
    across the median, and did not even pretend to look at the
    passengers who were hailing it. This surely cannot be
    acceptable.

    So there are two parts to this problem: what TFL can do to
    improve
    deterrents to illegal coach parking, and how TFL can help ensure
    buses actually stop to pick up passengers.

    I look forward to your help.

    Thank you, Angel

    ------------------

    THE FOLLOWING DETAILS ARE INCLUDED BY FIXMYTRANSPORT TO HELP YOU
    MANAGE THIS PROBLEM

    Location name: Aldwych

    Location ATCO code: 490003191D

    Indicator: D

    Bearing: W

    Easting: 530641.0

    Northing: 180958.0

    ----------

    ABOUT THIS PROBLEM REPORT

    Sender: [reduce illegal parking (with councils) and ensure buses stop at stops email]

    PLEASE NOTE: Your replies to this problem report WILL BE
    PUBLISHED
    ONLINE

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    provide
    an update on the problem, please visit the following link:

    http://www.fixmytransport.com/campaigns/...

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    FixMyTransport

    [ This message was sent via FixMyTransport.com - a
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    resolved. If there is a more appropriate email address for
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    about this type of problem, please let us know by visiting
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  • 8 Myf Nixon commented close 14:26 26 Sep 2011

    Hi Angel,
    Have you noticed any improvement?

    anorak
    admin
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  • started 25 August 2011
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Aldwych (D) bus stop in Soho
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