Transport for London has reiterated it and Mayor Sadiq Khan’s commitment to reduce the number of people injured or killed in collisions involving buses, following criticisms by Conservatives at City Hall.
Official TfL statistics show the number of collisions rose from 22,676 in 2013 to 28,035 in 2016, with annual increases in each year.
The total number of recorded injuries in 2016 was 1231, up on each of the previous years. However the number of people needing hospital treatment fell in each year, with 219 cases in 2016 compared to 322 in 2013.
Mayor Khan’s recently published transport strategy commits TfL to cutting the number of deaths and injuries to zero by 2030 but Conservatives say this target “is not nearly ambitious enough – particularly when the number of collisions is getting worse.”
In recent years TfL has trialled a number of initiatives to cut accident numbers, including anti-collision sensors, and is working to fit all buses with speed-limiting technology and is currently testing automatic brakes and audible warnings. It also routinely publishes safety data for all bus operators to boost transparency.
However Conservative transport spokesperson Keith Prince has called on the agency to do more, saying: “TfL’s efforts appear largely focused on improving emergency braking, but technology exists that eliminates blind spots and can be retro-fitted to buses.
“These kinds of innovations should be explored.
“If Sadiq Khan is serious about having zero fatalities on London’s roads he needs to utilise innovative technology to make TfL’s bus fleet safer.
“If he does, he may be able to reduce fatalities sooner than 2030.”
Responding to the criticisms, Claire Mann, TfL’s Director of Bus Operations, said, “As part of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy we are taking every action possible to reduce the unacceptably high number of people killed or hurt on our streets.
“This includes introducing better driver training and new technology to limit bus speeds automatically, making London’s road junctions safer and redesigning buses themselves to make them safer for London’s streets.
“This focus will take us towards our aim of reducing to zero the number of people killed in or by a London bus by 2030 or sooner, and for all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated by 2041.”