I understand there was a horrible accident on Bugsby’s Way yesterday, between a pedestrian and a 486 bus, at the crossroads where the Odeon is. The Twitter feeds I saw claimed it was fatal, and if so I am thinking of that person’s relatives today, and what they must be going through. I can’t imagine what that must be like or what I could say to make it any better at all.
Thing is, though, this isn’t the first accident there by any means. Jon tells me that “this happened 3 weeks ago at the same spot with a 108 bus and a pedestrian” but despite the air ambulance’s attendance there “was no mention in the local papers or anywhere else” – certainly it wasn’t mentioned here as I didn’t know about it. Nor did I know about the incident a year ago at same spot when a school girl was hit by a bus.
Clearly the proverbial ‘something’ needs to be done about this junction. There’s certainly a very odd piece of road management for car drivers coming from the direction of the O2 and wanting to turn right to go to B&Q /Sainsburys/Comet/ Odeon, where the ‘obvious’ place to turn is actually a bus-only lane; drivers are required to take the one immediately left of that. It is marked with No Entry signs, but isn’t clear if you’re seeing the junction for the first time and I’ve seen dozens of cars taking the wrong route over the years. I’ve never made that mistake myself (though I have accidentally driven down the bus lane on West Parkway thanks to duff signage) but I have to stop and think every time.
But this wasn’t between a car and a bus, as far as I know, but a pedestrian. Now, part of the problem could be pedestrians jay-walking because there’s a long wait between green men, or because there’s only an official crossing between GMV and the retail park on one side – if you’re coming from, say, Moseley Row and wanting to cross on the side near Holiday Inn, it’s pretty tempting to nip across the bit that doesn’t have a proper crossing. I know I’ve done it on occasion, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.
According to Jon, even that’s not the issue. He lives at GMV and tells me that he watches, day in, day out, buses speeding and running red lights. If it’s that, then short of cameras at the traffic lights to catch people doing that (and I’m not even sure if it counts for buses?) then I’m a bit stuck.
Whatever, yesterday’s tragic incident is the third in two years. With building resuming on the peninsula, this really needs to be looked at.