All new London buses are to be fitted with speed-limiting technology from next year after trials proved successful.
Transport for London has been trialling Intelligent Speed Assistance technology on two bus routes and found it was “particularly effective” in ensuring buses adhered to the 20mph limit being adopted in many areas.
According to TfL, buses taking part in the trail remained within the speed limit 97-99 per cent of the time. The agency says the “extremely rare incidents of excess speeds” all took place on downhill sections of road.
TfL hopes the adoption of ISA, which will be mandatory on all buses entering service from 2017, will help to reduce the number of accidents involving buses.
Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: “The use of this cutting-edge technology is just one example of how we are harnessing the latest technology to reduce the number of fatal and serious injuries on London’s roads.”
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, added: “These trials have proven that speed limiting technology can contribute to safer roads and streets. We’ll now work with manufacturers so that all buses coming off the production line can be fitted with the technology from next year.”
ISA was first proposed to former Mayor Ken Livingstone in 2005 and in 2009 current mayor Boris Johnson said TfL was considering “a proposal to trial intelligent speed adaptation on a bus in London” ahead of a wider possible roll-out, however trials only finally started last year.
The delay in adopting the technology has previously criticised by London Assembly member Darren Johnson who last year said “making buses stick to the speed limit is a common sense measure which should have been brought in years ago.”
Today’s announcement has been welcomed by Tom Kearney, a bus crash survivor and founder of the #LondonBusWatch Campaign, who said: “I applaud this action to strengthen the operational safety performance of TfL’s contracted bus fleet and look forward to the Bus Safety Programme’s continued implementation.”