Disabled Access on Buses (Supplementary) [8]

Session date: 
November 16, 2005
Question By: 
Sally Hamwee
Organisation: 
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

Sally Hamwee (Chair): Just to explain to Roger (Evans, AM) that I thought that Jennette (Arnold, AM) might say, as I would say, that testing by people who need to use buses, including those with hearing impairments, would be a very good thing, to get users to experience and pass on their points.

Roger Evans (AM): Indeed, and if you had called me when you said you were going to, I might have said it as well but I do not need to now. I am very grateful to Jennette (Arnold, AM) for raising these issues because they were highlighted in the recent report on bus driving standards which the Transport Committee did and which received a huge number of public contributions to it, because clearly it was viewed as a very serious issue by a lot of older people and people who are unsteady on their feet, who have to use London buses.

One of the things we were told by TfL was that the BTEC training for bus drivers was progressing; they had trained 11,000 people at the time of the report and had a further 10,000 drivers to train. It had taken them three years to train 11,000 drivers so you will understand that the Committee was somewhat sceptical of their claim that they would train the remaining 10,000 in the six months leading up to Christmas. What has the progress been and how many are left to train now?

Supplementary To: 

Answer

Answer for Disabled Access on Buses (Supplementary) [8]

Answer for Disabled Access on Buses (Supplementary) [8]

Answered By: 
The Mayor

I cannot answer that. I am just checking the brief here; it does not have those details but I understood we were on target. Clearly as I said earlier, having got that target we will look at upgrading this, because I still do not think this BTEC qualification is as rigorous or as good as the training that used to happen when there was a London Transport operation before privatisation, where everyone went to the same bus driving school and we all remember the news clips of the bus almost veering over on the sharp turns. I do not think we are back to those standards and I think we have a way to go to get back to them.