Peninsula Accident

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.

 


22 Comments to “Peninsula Accident”

  1. Joe says:

    That is awful news, thoughts go out to the families involved.

    However I would back up Jon in that buses certainly run red lights – at least on the roads around the Pilot when there are no other cars around (and presumably pedestrians/cyclists) and when I’m on the bus I selfishly thought this to be a good thing as it gets me from A to B quicker.

    The lights between the back of B&Q and GMV/Busby’s Way are very badly timed – far too much priority is given to the wrong junctions at the wrong time of day and it’s no wonder people put their foot down to get through.

    Please don’t give me flak for this but part of me always questions the actions of the pedestrian – yes it may or may not have been their right of way but nothing beats some common sense and the good old fashioned stop-look-listen approach. Especially so on notorious roads such as these. I don’t want to say more than this either way as we only know as much detail as what was posted above…

    Something does need to be done though for the benefit of the buses (who already have priority at lights and make them change), cars and pedestrians (schoolchildren too) in the area.

    I’m sure cameras filming buses jumping lights all the time won’t work if they’re official (I’ve never seen a policeman do anything about it to say the least) but if a resident or local was to make a “home” video of it and make a compilation, then I’m sure the authorities will be on bended knee.

  2. RogerW says:

    Very sad news: condolences to those who may have known the deceased.
    As a car driver, I know exactly what you mean about the poor signposting at the right turn; I know I actually once aborted a turn, there (and carried on straight, right to the end), because I was convinced I was about to enter a bus lane.
    I’m not going to dispute your or Joe’s thoughts about the buses.
    Just last week (the 11th), I was going to the B&Q at Eltham, only to find the whole of Footscray Rd closed off, from the roundabout at Southend Crescent (down to beyond Green Lane), for investigation of a serious RTA. I may be wrong, but I gather that that may also have been an incident between a bus and a pedestrian.
    Maybe incidents like these are more common than we perhaps think?

  3. Nelson's Left Eye says:

    I remember reading that it was government policy to install traffic cameras at accident black-spots.

    Hopefully we will now see some here.

  4. Mary says:

    Yes the police have now officially confirmed a fatality. But I am told it might take some time to confirm details. I will try and get back soon with either info or a way forward for people to draw more attention to this.

  5. Steve says:

    I would recommend complaining to TfL if you see a bus jumping red lights. I complained once when a bus nearly hit me at the top of Charlton Church Lane (I was walking along the very narrow bit of pavement). The reply I got from London Buses reassured me that they do take such incidents seriously even when (in my case) there is no independent proof or witnesses.

  6. WalNut says:

    I saw someone hit by a bus at these lights about 6 months ago. Fortunately the bus was not going too fast and stopped before going over him – so main injury was just shock.

    The pedestrian stepped in front of the bus – think he must’ve been looking at the red lights for the line of cars and oblivious to the fact it was green for the bus lane.

    Dangerous crossing though. Could the cars be left turn only and then their lights could be green at the same time as the buses? Roundabout is not too far away to circle back and might make the wait there a little quicker and help pedestrians know where the traffic is coming from.

  7. Folks – I’ve heard that inundating Chris Roberts with mail about this junction is probably the only way to get anything concrete moving.

  8. Joe says:

    I’ve heard through the grapevine a bit more about the accident. My neighbour was going to/from (can’t remember which) GMV and heard a loud bang as someone went under a bus. The bus driver threw up as soon as he got out and saw it, meanwhile people were doing their best to cover the “mess” (sorry to be so crude!) with coats.

    Still none the wiser as to why or how it occurred though. I wonder how many more deaths it will take to bring about positive change for all users?

  9. Phil. says:

    I seen the aftermath of this accident yesterday. It was not very nice. The thing is, the very last time I was on a bus passing through this particular junction an almost identical accident was just avoided. A young man was missed by the bus literally by the “skin of his teeth”… and this happened just 5 days ago.
    Surely it must be obvious that this junction is a blackspot and needs serious rethinking. My thoughts go to all those involved.

  10. Chris says:

    Sad to hear.

    It seems that some of the roads around that area, while well intentioned, the bus segregation is just too unique causing confusion. The T junction at the top of Pilot Busway (I think that’s the name – next to the cable car) seems to lead to everyone (including the buses) to be held up. I’m not surprised that cars and pedestrians sometimes get confused.

  11. BEN says:

    Sadly the young lady (25 years of age) that was hit was a close relative. She even read a poem at our wedding literally 1yr and 3days ago. She was declared dead and the whole family are in shock, tears and pain. CCTV and witnesses have not given a full disclosure of what happened and the family including myself is very keen to know what happened. As a pedestrian and driver, I found the layout and signals on this particular road (just like many roads in London) very confusing.
    Thanks for your condolences in this sad time. Please kindly send any info to benzer1ben@aol.com. Thanks in advance.

  12. Ben I am sure I speak for all here when I send you our very best wishes. I know they won’t do much; it’s impossible to feel anything other than pretty powerless at a time like this.

    I know that emails have already been sent to Chris Roberts – apparently this is the best way to ensure the matter gets swift attention.

    Anyone else who wishes to chivvy-up the Dear Leader should write to: chris.roberts@greenwich.gov.uk

  13. Chris says:

    BEN – sincerest condolences.

  14. Jake says:

    Ben, my sincere condolences to you and the rest of your family. I live in moseley row and have been concerned about this very spot even before the first accident two weeks ago. I’ve nearly been run over by a bus as it very easy to misjudge the time you have to cross with busses coming ’round the odeon corner. They really go for as they don’t want to be stuck between two sets if traffic lights 50 feet apart. This is a popular pedestrian route with a school nearby. If busses are not better regulated this won’t be the last accident.

  15. Jake says:

    Ben, my sincere condolences to you and the rest of your family. I live in moseley row and have been concerned about this very spot even before the first accident two weeks ago. I’ve nearly been run over by a bus as it very easy to misjudge the time you have to cross with busses coming around the odeon corner. They really go for it as they don’t want to be stuck between two sets if traffic lights 50 feet apart. This is a popular pedestrian route with a school nearby. If busses are not better regulated this won’t be the last accident.

  16. Sarah says:

    Ben my sincere condolences.

    forgive me if im worng, but I heard the women involved in the accident was racing/chasing a moving car?

  17. Wadee says:

    My sincere condolences to Ben, her family and friends.
    Myself and my wife were in the first car waiting at the junnction to turn right towards B&Q and Sainsbury’s.
    We saw most of the accident, but not when this young lady was hit by the bus, we saw everything after that and at first I did not think it was a person being dragged under the bus across the junction until my wife started screaming and crying as I realised it was a young lady under the bus.
    I then sounded my car’s horn as madly as I can until the bus stopped and I got off the car to if I can help but it would not be nice to describe events I’ve seen as we are ourselves still very shocked….I am worried for my wife who is 8-month pregnant and trying not mention anything about the incident as she is very affected by what she’s seen.
    I went back to the scene to see if there was a helpline we could call for witness statements, but there wan’t any!
    This horrible accident was even covered in local press! I’ve searching the internet for forums and information until I found this link….
    If anyone knows the police helpline for this particular accident, please let me know.

  18. Wadee, Thanks to Dick Quibell, I have the direct line to the Sergeant in charge of the team. 020 8284 5938

    Hope that you can at least help to shed some light on the incident.

  19. Wadee says:

    Thank you Greenwich Phantom, we’ll contact them today.

  20. Wadee says:

    Hi Greenwich Phantom, we’ve been trying to call the helpline above but no one is picking up the phone, is there an alternative number I could call?
    Thank you

  21. Wadee – I am afraid I don’t know. That’s the number I got from Dick Quibell.

    You might want to try Catford Police station or- hold on, I’ve got a number for Scotland Yard – when I reported something earlier this year, they directed my call to someone who could help. Hold on, I’ll go and find it:

    020 7230 1212

  22. Old school friend says:

    Thank you Wadee..

    “..Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone with any information is asked to call the Road Death Investigation Unit on 020 8285 1574 or to remain anonymous call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”

    http://www.wharf.co.uk/2012/04/police-appeal-for-witnesses-to.html#more
    23.4.2012