Poor response on restricted view

Dear Spurtle 

In your current issue (No. 256) you refer to JCDecaux bus shelters being criticised for their ‘poor sightlines’.  That's putting it mildly.

As anyone who actually uses them will tell you, the JCD shelters on Princes Street seem almost deliberately designed to obscure the passenger’s view of approaching buses.  Except from a very limited viewpoint, useful information such as destination, number and –  sometimes – even the very presence of the vehicles themselves are blocked by massive advertising panels.

Try telling this to the Council, though, or suggesting that shelters might be adapted to be more user-friendly, and here’s the kind of response you’ll get:  

I would contest that only the first passenger in the shelter gets a clear view of approaching buses. There are a number of points within the shelter where it is possible to see an approaching bus.

You will appreciate that companies such as JCDecaux … require a commercial return from the shelters. If there is none, or it is deemed insufficient, it will be reflected in the payment offered for the contract with the Council. Furthermore, any variation from a company’s standard designs to suit a particular locality will have a cost. 

[Letter from Stuart Lowrie, Acting Public Transport and Accessibility Manager, 29 July 2015]

So there we have it: the view from the shelters is just fine (from ‘a number of points’)! Even if it isnt great, the Council isn’t going to fork out for something more ergonomic or better suited to its setting. And anyway, JCD have to make their money.

These comments were prompted by complaints about the Princes Street shelters, and the ones proposed for George Street may be a slightly different model.  

Whats likely to be exactly the same, though, is Edinburgh Councils readiness to make do with the cheapest, off-the-peg option and their lofty dismissal of any objections. 

David Young

(India Street)

PS: At least CEC replies to criticisms, even if it brushes them aside. Emails on this to JCDecaux get no response at all.


(((Alan Alexander))) (((Alan Alexander))) ‏@trapprain

@thespurtle @fountainbridge Lucky people, at least you've got bus shelter(s)!

 Paul ‏@fountainbridge 

@trapprain @theSpurtle At least you were left with a pavement

NewTownCleanStreets NewTownCleanStreets ‏@NTCleanStreets

@theSpurtle What was wrong with the ones that were there before? Seemed a waste of resources to replace at all.

Jim Darroch ‏@ShuggMcGlummfer

@theSpurtle Typical head in sand from CEC. Poor view, little weather protection. How they are allowed lcd ads in @EdinburghWH is beyond me.

Alastair Wright It's obvious to anyone (other than CEC) that the people sheltering within, awaiting their bus, have their view of oncoming buses obscured by the advertising screens, which slows the flow of public transport due to lack of passenger readiness / consequent need to ask drivers where they're going / etc.
I have seen the bus whiz past as the driver could not see anyone at the stop, again due to them being obscured by the advertising screens.
If a bus shelter must be utilised for advertising screens they should be at the rear of the stop so as not to obscure line of sight for the driver or passengers.
All just common sense yet apparently beyond the CEC.

Euan MacGuzzi McGlynn The cheek is to call them a shelter, they shelter you from nothing. Just admit they are advertising boards nothing else.

Brian McNeil If anything needs advertised at bus stops, it is the fares. And, to have exact change READY.

I hate idiots who've been stood at a stop for ten minutes, and don't bother looking for change until they're stood in front of the driver on the bus.