More than 200 people injured after being hit by buses in Southwark in the last five years

Katherine Johnston (07 March, 2019) Transport

'Deaths and serious injuries on our road network are neither acceptable nor inevitable,' says TfL

21812A TfL bus (c) Gary Lewington

More than 200 people have been injured in Southwark after being hit by TfL buses since 2014, making the borough the third most affected in London.

The statistics, collected by trade union GMB, show that in the last five years one person died and a 225 people were injured after bus collisions in Southwark. Fifty of them were rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

The only London boroughs with a higher number of injuries overall are Lambeth, with 260, and Westminster, with 350 people injured in the same timeframe.

The union’s analysis shows, on average, four people have been killed or seriously injured every week for the last five years in accidents on London’s bus network.

The union lays the blame at what it says are unsafe working practices among contractors, and has also criticised TfL’s transparency in recording and sharing data around accidents.

It is calling on TfL and its outsourced operators to improve their safety record and support its bus drivers’ ‘Bill of Rights’, which includes demands for access to clean, serviced toilet and rest facilities on all routes, and the right to drive without having to answer radio messages and texts from controllers.

The campaign is backed by London Bus Watch, set up by Tom Kearney, who survived being hit by a ‘bendy bus’ on Oxford Street in 2009.

“I have campaigned over these years for a safer public bus system, and that can only happen when bus driver working conditions are improved and TfL and its for-profit bus contractors are compelled to be transparent about and accountable for the operational safety performance of London’s surface transport fleet,” he said.

In July last year Sadiq Khan and TfL launched ‘Vision Zero’, with the aim of no serious injuries on London’s streets by 2041.

Alongside lower speed limits and redesigning dangerous junctions, there will be stronger enforcement to tackle dangerous driving.

TfL says  safety is its ‘top priority’ and that it has given training focused on vulnerable road users to all 25,000 drivers.

Bus operations director, Claire Mann, said: “Deaths and serious injuries on our road network are neither acceptable nor inevitable, which is why we are doing all we can to eliminate them.

“We are introducing a range of additional and enhanced safety requirements for buses and are developing innovative driver training focused on the safety of vulnerable road users.

“Our bus operators know that safety is our top priority and continue to work with us towards our aim of making London’s roads free from collision-based deaths and serious injuries.”

 

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