The ‘West End Extra’ reports;
“A vital bus stop in the heart of Pimlico that was knocked down by a Tesco delivery lorry six months ago has still not been replaced.
Transport for London (TfL) want to replace the bus stop in Alderney Street – which is used by elderly residents from the nearby Churchill Gardens Estate each day – more than 50 metres down the road when they install it later this year.
Residents of the estate are opposed to the move and believe they have been ignored in favour of big business. Sue Walsh, chairwoman of Churchill Gardens Residents’ Association, said: “It just seems like big business have knocked it down and thought, ‘right, that’s it, we’ve got our own way’, and it’s not going back there and it’s not fair.
“They shouldn’t just be allowed to knock it down and have it put somewhere else just because that’s where their lorries like to park.”
The bus stop was hit by a van delivering to Tesco on Lupus Street in December.
Ms Walsh said: “About an hour later a van from TfL pulled up, straightened all the pavement out, took the bus stop away and that was it.”
TfL said they decided to move the bus stop on “safety grounds” following “repeated damage”, but residents are adamant this was the first accident. They have raised concerns about the safety of the new site due to a lack of lighting.
Ms Walsh said: “They are planning to put it down the road by Pimlico Primary School, but it’s very dark there at night and it isn’t suitable for an elderly people. When you get off late at night at the old stop, Tesco is very well lit and there’s a security guard there, so there’s an element of safety as well.”
Local businesses say they have lost out on trade as less people have walked past their stores since the bus stop was removed.
Churchill Gardens resident Murad Gassanly said: “The small businesses in Lupus Street are losing passing trade from the passengers alighting from the buses. They say that if people alight further up the road they do not bother to walk back on themselves to the shops.”
Darren Canty, infrastructure controller for London Buses, said: “Following repeated damage to the Alderney Street bus stop a decision was taken, on safety grounds, to move it.
“The previous location did not have a designated space to allow the bus to stop. This meant that other vehicles could park close to the bus stop preventing the bus from pulling in close to the curb, allowing passengers to alight safely. This was of particular concern for passengers with limited mobility or using a wheelchair.
“We worked with Westminster Council to find a more suitable location for the bus stop around 50 metres east on Lupus Street where designated road markings could be introduced to improve both bus and passenger accessibility. The introduction of the new bus stop is currently subject to a public consultation. We hope to introduce the new bus stop in the next few months.”
A spokesman for Tesco said they would not comment on the bus stop.
You can sign the petition to reinstate the bus stop at http://petitions.westminster.gov.uk/24busstop/