New Havering bus stop seats branded “useless”
� THE elderly and infirm of Havering have hit out at new but “useless” bus stop seats – installed by transport chiefs to prevent people sleeping on them.
Transport for London (TfL) has begun an overhaul of some bus stops, replacing four seater shelters with two seats and so-called ‘perch’ boards.
Paul Kemp, 60, who suffers painful leg ulcers and cannot stand for more than a few minutes, recently tried to use a perch at a stop in Station Road, Upminster.
“There were lots of people waiting for the bus but nobody was using them because they are impossible and uncomfortable,” he said. “Myself and another pensioner were unable to sit down. They are totally useless.”
When Paul, of Plover Gardens, Cranham, complained to TfL he was told the new set-up was to “discourage improper use, such as people sleeping in the shelter”.
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“This is typical spin and nonsense by someone in TfL without any common sense whatsoever,” said retiree Paul. “The older people of the borough and those with disabilities are suffering as a result.”
But TfL argues the seats are easier to use for the disabled.
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A spokesman said: “TfL carefully considers the design requirements of its bus shelters taking into account the varied needs of our passengers and the limited space available on the shared pavement.
“New shelters will continue to feature perch seating which has been developed in association with the Society for Back Pain Research.
“Perch seating is well suited for short resting periods, such as waiting for a bus, and research showed that those with mobility difficulties actually found perch seats took less effort to get up from.”
TfL will replace a further four shelters in the borough with the new design in 2011/12, including in Gubbins Lane, Harold Wood; in Pettits Lane, Romford; South Street, Romford; and Colchester Road, Harold Hill.