Month: March 2014

Site visit Euston Station

On 11.03.14 at approximately 21:00, a pedestrian was hit by a 253 bus in front of Euston Station and died shortly afterwards. Report in the Standard

I visited the site at 17:00 on the following day. It struck me that the only evidence that a tragedy had occurred less than 24 hours before, was a small spot of blood on the tarmac and a bunch of flowers on the railings. Most of the people I talked to (an Arriva controller, a TfL staff member in the hut at the exit of the bus driveway, a policeman) were very reluctant to say anything about the incident.

Here is the map of the incident:

The victim was crossing the southern carriage way of what effectively is the Euston Bus Station. The two carriageways are separated by a long barrier. There is also a short barrier on the Southern pavement.
Above is the view from the Southern pavement. Blood from the collision was in the middle of the carriageway, just after the “10mph” sign (from the viewer). It is therefore most likely that the victim was walking diagonally to/from the pedestrian island towards/from the viewer, just like this man (opposite angle, you can see the blood stain ahead of him):
This is actually a desire line because it joins a path across the square.
The 253 bus would have driven from North, left in the picture, and turned right in the carriageway. This is the view of the driver as it makes the right turn:
I have marked the blood stain with a red circle.
My impression is that many drivers approach the entrance to the Station at an inappropriate speed, even if there is a 10mph sign painted on the road, especially considering the number of pedestrians crossing here.
If the collision occurred in the middle of the carriageway, as the blood stain indicates, a careful driver would have been able to stop in time.
The pedestrian traffic lights are a scandal: the green phase is 15 seconds, whereas the red phase is 1 minute 18 seconds. It is inconceivable that people wait that long when they have a train to catch. Moreover, the road that needs to be crossed is used only by buses, so for most of those 78 seconds there are no motor vehicles. The result is that there is 0% compliance to the pedestrian red light. Absolutely no pedestrian waits at the red light. Here are some pictures showing people of all ages:




If there is 0% compliance, it means that the system is broken! It would make much more sense to replace the traffic lights with a zebra crossing. Remember, only buses use this arm of the junction. The opposite arm (Grafton Way Place) is used mostly by buses and occasionally by taxis. A zebra crossing would be the best option for the vast majority of the users of this junction.
This is another instance where the disregard for pedestrian safety by Transport for London encourages risky behaviour.  Moreover, by creating systems that are ignored by people they create a culture that it is OK to kill people, because they were not following the signals. I am sure that is going to be the Police’s and TfL’s version of this killing.
Yet again an innocent person has died and TfL is responsible.
There seems to be total unawareness by TfL that their idiotic, disrespectful policies kill people.
UPDATE 14.03.14 The victim has been named: Peter Van De Bulk, 26. “At this early stage officers believe the man was walking with his fiancée towards Euston Station.” Standard