Central London Bus Services

MQT on 2003-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2003
Question By: 
Angie Bray
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Can the Mayor explain why the young daughter of a constituent of mine was refused entry onto two buses because she could not pre-purchase a ticket due to the pre-pay machine being out of order? Instead she was told to walk to the next machine, which was also out of order. In the end the 13-year-old girl was forced to walk, on her own, to Euston Station, across several busy roads, to find a working ticket machine and catch a bus.

This is in direct contradiction to the answer (2097 / 2003 - Bus Protocols) you gave at the last Mayor's Question Time, when you stated that the protocol for passengers who board busses at central London bus stops where ticket machines are not working is that the driver will:

·Accept a valid ticket issued from any other nearby machine; if this is not possible, then ·Carry the passenger to the next stop, to buy a ticket there

Furthermore you stated that Drivers are instructed never to leave a child or other potentially vulnerable passenger stranded, and there are arrangements in these cases to allow payment to be made later. Why was this instruction ignored and are all drivers aware of this procedure?



Answer for Central London Bus Services

Answer for Central London Bus Services

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Clearly, the driver was wrong to act in this way and is in need of extra instruction since London Buses has issued to operators the protocols I mentioned previously. London Buses has taken care to ensure that all drivers are aware of the proper procedures by distributing staff notices to all operators. All bus drivers should be fully aware of the correct procedure. London Buses Customer Services appears not to have received the details of this incident, so they will contact you shortly so that they can investigate and take action with the operator.You will know that the Roadside Ticket Machines have been targetted by criminals engaged in `blocking', and this is likely why the ticket machines were not working. London Buses has worked closely with Almex, the supplier of the machines, to find a solution. An attachment to make `blocking" much more difficult is currently being introduced. As of 12/12/03, half of the machines have been altered and their failure rate has dropped by a factor of 100. Other changes to make the machines easier to use will also be implemented shortly. .