Please sign a petition to help stop needless deaths on London's Oxford Street

(48 Posts)
carriemumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Mar-13 16:28:18

One of my dear friends is running a campaign to lobby Mayor Boris Johnson to improve conditions for pedestrians on London's Oxford Street through pedestrianization and he'd love your help. Here are some facts: accident rates on Oxford Street are 35 times the average of all other London streets and there's a collision involving a bus every 3.4 days. Since 2000, over a thousand casualties have resulted from bus-pedestrian accidents on Oxford Street and over 200 pedestrians have been killed or seriously-injured - often it's children or the elderly who are most vulnerable. While buses deliver many people to and from Oxford Street, much of the time the nearly 300 buses per hour running along the street are empty.

Our friend Tom, a dad to two young DSs, was hit while still on the kerb of Oxford Street by a 16 ton bendy bus in Dec 2009. The impact burst both his lungs and he was in a coma for two weeks and in hospital for months. He was very lucky to survive, and it took him two years to recover fully.

He knows if he can get Mumsnetters' support for his initiative then someone might listen, so I promised him I'd ask you. When you speak to him he really does have an amazing story to tell and compelling arguments why this makes sense, so I hope you don't mind me asking you, if you do agree with him, to sign this petition today (and send it to a friend smile). It will take less than 30 seconds of your time. There's a major meeting with Westminster Council to discuss pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries on Oxford Street on March 14th and it would be great if we could boost the numbers he can present.

Thanks so much and if you have any questions about what he's trying to do, or comments that he might be able to use to support his campaign, please don't hesitate to ask/post and I'll get him to answer.
Thanks again

Carrie

Moominsarehippos Wed 13-Mar-13 17:28:35

DH was knocked over by a cyclist coming up a one way street the wrong way. Luckily he wasn't hurt and got an earful. Right next to a school too.

DS has had a few bike misses too on pedestrian crossings with tossers on bikes flying at top speed through the red light out of nowhere. They never look, stop or slow down. I really hate cyclists. Most of them anyway.

Eastpoint Wed 13-Mar-13 16:53:57

My friend was hit by a cyclist going the wrong way when she was using at a pedestrian crossing last year. Her collarbone, arm and cheekbone were all smashed. Her face will never be the same & he didn't stop. As cyclists carry no registration he got away, her life is different forever.

ElenaKnight Wed 13-Mar-13 15:28:00

Drivers here in London can just be damn right terrifying sometimes- I see it all too often with living and working here in the City.

My oldest DD used to love Oxford Street- novelty has worn off (thank god) but they are some scary statistics.

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Wed 13-Mar-13 14:51:41

While what happened to your friend is dreadful, it did happen in 2009. Since then a lot has changed at oxford circus to make it safe; bendy buses have been taken out of service and the road and crossings completely redesigned with pedestrian safety mind. Now it's really east tto cross the circus on the Japanese style crossing, and if you wish to cross further down towards totenham court road tube there is a long " island " on the middle of tube road to wait on. A lot of thought went into these redesigns it seems to me, they seem to be based on how
pedestrians use the road. In my opinion mist bus drivers are now safe but pedestrians put themselves at stupid risks by crossing on red, or walking out into the road without looking, that includes parents
pushIng buggies out into the road, then waiting for the cars to stop! yes, cyclists can be dangerous too, if they jump red lights, or go the wrong way down the road.

I work at Oxford circus and quite happily take my 4 year old there. I did so before the changes , but it's a nicer enviOnment mow.

I clicked on this thread thinking it was about homeless young people dying there. This month has seem a massive increase in older teens, 20s sleeping tough and in shop doorways during the day. Really noticeable and I can't workout why the sudden change.

frankie4 Wed 13-Mar-13 14:37:54

I have been going to Oxford Street for over 25 years so know it quite well. It is SO much busy in terms of pedestrians than any other non pedestrianised street in London so there are bound to be more accidents with pedestrians, especially taking into account the big groups of tourists and students. I am sure there are 35 times more pedestrians that use Oxford Street compared to the average street in London!

I agree that it is unsafe at times, but the problem in removing buses from the street is that schemes like this can ruin a high street. Many staff in the shops in Oxford street get the bus to work. And it is so convenient for shoppers to be able to get buses directly from the street. If buses are removed front he street it could affect the shops as they are already competing with Westfield etc.

Maybe some safety measures could include higher kerbs so that buses cannot mount the kerbs, clearer and safer crossing areas, and more clearly set out bus stops.

ThorinOakenshield Wed 13-Mar-13 14:09:42

While agreeing that it is terrible that people are killed and injured in this way, I am not sure if people who actually live and work in the area and use it regularly would agree with the proposal.
I think often people are unaware of the dangers of traffic on Oxford Street and signs and warnings should be much more in evidence, together with better training and awareness for bus drivers. I use Oxford Street a lot and have never seen a bus mount the pavement. (Not saying it never happens, but I have never seen it.)
I am also not sure that the buses are often empty. Many, many Londoners use the buses and Oxford Street is the hub where lots of people change bus routes. I think I would have to know the full proposal for re-routing the buses before I could sign this.

Signed. I do believe that bus drivers in my neck of the woods drive like loonies too and one knocked my DH off his bike and didn't notice (despite high-viz gear).

jammybean Wed 13-Mar-13 13:17:28

As far as I'm aware bendy buses were taken out of service a couple of years back. They were very dangerous especially when turning corners. I can see how your friend could have been injured whilst still on the pavement.

arbitrary no it's not compulsory to use a crossing. However crossings are there for a reason. If you don't use one and subsequently get hit whose fault is it?

I too would like to see a link to the stats. And of those injured, what percentage are visitors?

KatherineKrupnik Wed 13-Mar-13 12:48:35

jkklpu you can't drive along Oxford Street, only buses and taxis.

moggle Wed 13-Mar-13 12:27:22

I'd like to see the stats too, particularly to see whether they take into account the much higher number of people using Oxford st compared to the "average" other London street when calculating the 35x number. I also expect many of the injuries are tourists :-( but the frustrated Londoners who walk on the road to get around the clumps of slow walkers on the pavement must also be at risk.

YouBrokeMySmoulder Wed 13-Mar-13 12:12:48

That is awful. I would like a link to the stats to, how many of those casualties and injuries were tourists?

Slainte Wed 13-Mar-13 10:49:49

Signed. Such a terrible story.

QuickLookBusy Wed 13-Mar-13 09:03:54

Done.

I can't quite get my head around asking pedestrians still on the pavement, to be more careful confused It's the traffic which needs to stay away from the pavement?

Also, even if you do use the pedestrian crossings on Oxford Street, you still have to almost run across the road. You really don't get enough time to cross. If you're in a wheelchair or with young dc it must be really scary.

msrisotto Wed 13-Mar-13 08:29:09

Those stats are awful obviously but I never see empty buses driving along oxford st? Pedestrians should stand back from the edge of the kerb and drivers should obviously not mount the kerb.

Moominsarehippos Wed 13-Mar-13 07:05:14

I think you can drive for certain reasons (delivery) and most roads crossing it are ordinary cars. Plus the drivers who ignore/get lost. Let's not forget the pedi-cabs too!

nancy75 Tue 12-Mar-13 23:41:05

Oxford street is only bus cab or bike, you can't drive down most of it in a normal car. Having worked on oxford street for years I would say that pedestrians need to take more care, you can't expect to walk into the road without looking and not get hurt. I have to say I always found cyclists to be the most dangerous road users as they tend to ignore red lights in central London.

Jux Tue 12-Mar-13 23:30:48

Signed.

I used to work just off Oxford Street, and was used to it; that was many years ago, and though it seemed hugely crowded and out of control, in comparison to these days it was a haven of peace and tranquillity.

edam Tue 12-Mar-13 22:40:05

btw, jkk, you can't drive along Oxford Street - most of it isn't open to ordinary cars, only buses, taxis and cyclists IIRC.

edam Tue 12-Mar-13 22:38:27

I was run over by an ordinary car while standing on a dropped kerb (i.e. on the pavement, not in the road) waiting to cross. That did enough ruddy damage - I hate to think what the outcome would have been if I'd been hit by a bus.

It's hard to believe that so many people have been killed and injured by buses and no-one has done anything about it. Wow. I'd have imagined that bus drivers would be more careful and cautious than ordinary motorists. Unless there's a startlingly high rate of psychopathy amongst bus drivers whose routes include Oxford Street, there must be something inherently dangerous about the road and the way it is used, the way buses and pedestrians come into contact. Presumably the wall-to-wall buses and massive crowds are a very bad mix.

jkklpu Tue 12-Mar-13 22:28:41

Arbitrary - I think the onus is on pedestrians to do what they can to observe road safety; drivers should, too, of course. I've never driven along Ox St and wouldn't want to (I ow live in a country where the roads are lethal and hardly drive at all). Yes, the traffic's awful but not every accident is a driver's fault and pedestrians do need to take some responsibility for themselves.

Corygal Tue 12-Mar-13 22:15:46

The place is so packed it's a miracle not more people die.

Streets, pavements and roads just weren't build to contain this amount of humanity from dawn to dusk - a flashmob on every paving stone.

PseudoBadger Tue 12-Mar-13 21:57:27

It's just a huge, moving bus station isn't it.

Done.

There's no such thing as 'jay walking' in this country; it's just called 'crossing the street'. There's no compulsion to use a crossing.

Drivers driving through busy shopping areas should be extra aware and expect people to walk out in front of them, in the same way that you're supposed to be aware that pedestrians will walk out from between parked cars on narrow streets, and that children may not cross the road properly at school chucking out time. When you're in charge of something that can kill, the onus is really on you to make sure that you don't hit anyone.

jkklpu Tue 12-Mar-13 18:36:13

Bus drivers aren't great, to be sure. It's also true, though, that pedestrians on Oxford Street are far more prone to jay-walking than almost anywhere else I've seen in London. I often feel sorry for drivers given the number of people who leg it across the middle of the road instead of using any of the many crossing points.

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