Passengers boarding bus

Driven to Distraction – tackling safety on London’s buses

Date published: 
17 July 2017

Over the last two years, 25 people have been killed by buses in London, and a further 12,000 injured.
Through our investigation, we have tried to get to the root causes of these incidents and identify how Transport for London (TfL) can prevent them in the future.

In many ways, it is clear that the bus service in London has improved dramatically in recent years. TfL and the operators have worked hard to design and deliver a bus network that passengers can rely on. But attention seems to have slipped away from safety during this time and TfL’s mantra ‘safety is our top priority’ appears not to be the reality. Instead, TfL encourages bus operators to make punctuality their top priority. 

The London Assembly Transport Committee report 'Driven to Distraction - Making London's Buses Safer' suggests a number of recommendations to improve the safety of travelling by bus in the capital,  They recommend TfL:

  • Sets safety targets for bus operators as soon as possible.
  • Revises its senior staff bonus scheme to introduce a direct link between bus safety and performance-related payments.
  • Improves the data it uses for bus safety analysis and trend reporting.
  • Reduces the number of distractions and difficulties facing drivers.
  • Delivers driver safety training, in the same way it delivers customer service training.
  • Reviews bus maintenance practices in garages.