As Easy As Riding A Bike)
In case you had forgotten, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust spent over £10,000 of NHS funding in an attempt to prevent ‘floating’ bus stops being built on Westminster Bridge (a detail uncovered by Tom Kearney).
This was part of an orchestrated campaign against the bus stop bypasses from hospital management. They sent out press releases to the Evening Standard, with quotes from their chairman –
Sir Hugh Taylor, chairman of Guy’s and St Thomas’s NHS trust, said: “We believe that TfL’s plans for cycle lanes and so-called ‘floating’ bus stops on Westminster Bridge pose risks to both pedestrians and cyclists. We are particularly concerned about the impact on patients and carers, especially the elderly, disabled, and families with children in buggies and wheelchairs coming to Evelina London Children’s Hospital.”
Further FOI requests revealed this entire strategy may have originated with the local MP Kate Hoey, who wrote to the Trust in April 2016 suggesting a campaign against the bus stop bypasses would be
Those same FOI requests contain a hilariously revealing admission from the Trust’s Secretary and Head of Corporate Affairs –
‘I don’t think we’ve any evidence [floating bus stops] are unsafe – even though we think they are’
Despite not having any evidence, this same individual was simultaneously claiming that
‘The Trust is very concerned that Transport for London’s plans for the cycle super highway and “floating” bus stops on Westminster Bridge are dangerous’
Fast-forward a year to 2017, and it turns out that Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust…. aren’t actually opposed to bus stop bypasses at all, and drop their high court challenge. Construction started in the summer of that year, with zebra crossings across the cycleways at the bus stop islands. The official opening of this southbound section (in front of the hospital) was in the autumn.