Metroline tops London bus operator league table for most injuries from bus collisions

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“2.7 people per day have been injured in TFL bus collisions and of those an average of 4.3 people have been killed or seriously injured every week over five years”, says GMB Southern

A new study by GMB Southern of official data from Transport for London (TFL) for injuries arising from collisions by outsourced bus operators in London shows that in the 5 years since 2014 a total of 4,942 people have been injured, of which 49 were killed and 1,068 were taken to hospital.

This has led GMB to call on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to implement a London Bus Drivers ‘Bill of Rights’ and amend bus operator’s contracts to protect both drivers and pedestrians from bus collisions.

The study shows the number of collisions caused by each of the 24 bus operators contracted by TfL to service London’s many bus routes.

The study shows that Metroline tops the list for total injuries arisen from collisions by bus operator. In the five years from 2014, collisions by Metroline buses have caused 635 total injuries, including 7 fatal and 7 requiring hospital attention.

Second in the list was Arriva London North, which were involved in collisions leading to 627 total injuries, including 7 fatal and 21 requiring hospital attendance. Over the same period Arriva London North made around £80.82 million in pre-tax profits. This means that for every 7.76 injuries caused by a collision involving an Arriva London North bus, the company made £1 million in profit.

Next in the table is the East London Bus Company, with 597 total injuries caused by collisions, including 5 fatal and 8 requiring hospital attendance. East London bus company made a pre-tax profit of £19.72 million over the 5 years, equating to around 30 injuries for every £1 million made in profit.

London General Bus Company is next in the table with 441 total injuries, 4 fatal and 17 requiring hospital attendance. London General is the key subsidiary of the Go Ahead Group which also includes London Central (296 injuries, 5 fatal, 14 hospitalised), Metrobus (189 injuries, 2 fatal, 9 hospitalised), Blue Triangle Buses (65 injuries, 5 hospitalised) and Docklands Buses (28 injuries). These companies help make up the total profit of £203.39 million for London General between 2014 and 2018.

A previous study by the GMB showed that the City of Westminster was the London Borough which experienced the most incidents involving bus collisions with 350 injuries between 2014 and 2018.

GMB Southern Region is campaigning for the safe operation of TfL buses in London. This follows a resolution on bus safety and the public carried at the GMB Congress last year.

Tom Kearney, Founder of #LondonBusWatch andTfL Bus Crash Survivor: "Last December marked the ninth anniversary of when an Arriva Route 73 Bendy Bus contracted by TfL struck the back of my head and my torso while I was at the edge of a crowded Oxford Street pedestrian crossing.  Because TfL, Arriva and the Police never bothered to contact me after I woke up from a Glasgow Coma Scale 3 coma in January 2010, I was compelled to investigate why I nearly died on 18 December 2009 all on my own.

"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."

Paul Maloney, GMB Regional Secretary said: "GMB Southern are calling for decisive action from the top to change the inherited culture at Transport for London and to ensure the safe operation of buses by the outsourced private for-profit operators.

"Overall in the last 5 years 4942 people have been injured in collisions by TfL buses. This is 2.7 people per day every day since the beginning of 2014. Of those injured an average of 4.3 people have been killed or seriously injured every week over five years.

"The safe operation of buses by the outsourced operators must be made TfL's top priority. We have to see an end to the current position on the endless toll of people killed and injured due to bus collisions.

"Sadiq Khan has to get a grip on the problem he inherited from the past managers who designed the outsourced killing machine that TfL presides over. Nothing less than fundamental reform of the Bus System's contract performance incentives to include safety is acceptable.

"Safe operation of buses require drivers rested and with a safe system of work and well-maintained vehicles, all items clearly spelled out in the London Bus Drivers’ ‘Bill of Rights’ which was presented to the Mayors representative by protesting TfL Bus Drivers on 14 September 2017.

"LondonBusWatch are calling for everyone to get behind this Bill of Rights for bus drivers. We are asking for everyone to press Sadiq Khan to accept this ‘Bill of Rights’ and, as TfL Chair see the ‘Bill of Rights’ adopted by TfL’s contracted bus companies and its implementation closely monitored by TfL."


Contact: GMB Southern Press Office 07970 114762


Notes to Editors

1] Previous GMB Press Release: 1,062 people killed or seriously injured in London bus collisions since 2014 (28 February)


2] "London Bus Drivers' ‘Bill of Rights’:

1.   The Right to a safe work schedule without any forced overtime or loss of pay

2.   The Right to a decent and proper rest break in the working day

3.   The Right to drive a safe and well-maintained vehicle

4.   The Right to clean, serviced toilet and rest facilities on all bus routes

5.   The Right to report safety concerns without fear of retribution from TfL or employers

6.   The Right, when seriously ill and covered by a doctor's note, to not be harassed into coming into work until fit to do so

7.   The Right to relevant and timely safety training

8.   The Right to drive without being forced to answer radio messages and texts from Controllers whilst in motion