Tuesday, October 16, 2012
All Change on the Buses
Have you stood at a bus stop waiting for a bus only to find that when one (or more) arrived it sped past without stopping even though it was half empty?
If so, you may have been the victim of an unannounced change of policy by Transport for London (TfL).
For decades, there have been two kinds of bus stop. At those with white (‘Compulsory’) signs, all buses were required to stop – a boon when several arrive at once and it was not possible to see the destination boards, or make eye contact with the driver of the rear vehicles.
At those with red (‘Request’) signs, buses had to stop only if hailed or if a passenger rang the bell.
All that is now changing – though TfL has made no public announcement. TfL has admitted, in response to a freedom of Information request, that they are removing the distinction between compulsory and request stops. So existing, red, ‘Request ‘stops are now being changed to have the white with red roundel ‘compulsory stop’ sign. Existing ‘Compulsory’ stops will retain the compulsory stop sign - but in reality all will be ‘Request’ stops - though none will be labelled as such.
Enough to make bus travellers blanch and see red.