1,062 people killed or seriously injured in London bus collisions since 2014

GMB asks mayor to prioritise bus safety in Labour Party Conference in London

New GMB analysis shows that 1,062 people were killed or seriously injured in TfL bus collisions since 2014 as Sadiq Khan faces calls at London Labour Party conference to make safety top priority for outsourced bus operators.

The GMB 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.

A new study by GMB London of official figures published quarterly by Transport for London has found that since 2014, 45 people were killed and 1,017 seriously injured in collisions by TfL outsourced London buses.

Overall, over this period, 4,736 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 nearly five years. A LondonBusWatch meeting to step up the campaign for the safe operation of TfL outsourced buses is being held at the London Labour Party Conference on Saturday. The meeting will call on London Mayor Sadiq Khan to make the safe operation of buses by the outsourced private for-profit operators the top priority. Speakers at the meeting set to take place on Saturday 2nd March include:

  • Tom Kearney - Survivor of a bus collision and organizer for the LondonBusWatch campaign

  • Christian Wolmar - Labour Party campaigner on Transport

In London, the City of Westminster tops the London league for injuries caused by bus collisions since 2014 with 350 total injuries arising from collisions including 5 fatal injuries, 69 serious injuries and 65 minor injuries requiring hospital attention. These cases involved people being killed and injured by buses operated by outsourced operators for TfL in the 4 years from January 2014 to September 2018. Next in the league was Lambeth, which had a total of 260 injuries arising from collisions including 69 serious injuries and 31 minor injuries; Southwark had a total of 226 injuries arising from collisions including 1 fatal injury, 50 serious injuries and 44 minor; Croydon had 224 injuries arising from collisions including 2 fatal injuries, 65 serious injuries and 27 minor injuries; Lewisham had 218 injuries arising from collisions, including 1 fatal injury, 32 serious and 28 minor; Barnet had 192 total injuries, 4 fatal, 32 serious and 28 minor; and Greenwich had 176 cases, 3 fatal, 38 serious and 37 minor. Since January 2014, 51 have been killed, 4,139 have sustained injuries requiring hospitalisation (including 2,950 for minor injuries or 71%) and 18,507 have sustained injuries treated on scene for all reasons over the 19 quarters for the TFL buses. Collisions are the third cause of KSI and minor injuries, accounting for 18%, after 'slip, trip and fall' and 'personal injury'. You can see a full figures for all London boroughs by visiting the GMB website.

GMB London 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 and TfL Bus Crash Survivor who is speaking at the meeting at London Labour Party conference, said: "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." Warren Kenny, GMB Regional Secretary said: “GMB London 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. “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. “Labour Party members know that safety culture change in organisations has to come from the very top. 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 his representative by protesting TfL Bus Drivers on 14 September 2017. “LondonBusWatch and its supporters are calling on all CLPs and Labour Party councillors and MPs and all affiliates 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."

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