Who Runs Your Bus

Meeting: 
MQT on 2018-10-19
Session date: 
October 19, 2018
Reference: 
2018/2657
Question By: 
Keith Prince
Organisation: 
GLA Conservatives
Asked Of: 
The Mayor

Question

In your response to Question 2018/2363 you assert that since "Bus operators are delivering services on behalf of TfL" "it is right that TfL should have oversight, and overall accountability, for safety-related incidents involving buses."  While this appears honourable, your bold statement directly contradicts existing UK Law (the Bus Operators hold the Operator Licence, not TfL, and are legally responsible for their Bus Drivers' safety performance http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/que...) and is also undermined by TfL's own policy on CCTV Retention (the Bus Operators own and retain this critical safety data for a short time period as stipulated by TfL http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/que...) and the fact that TfL cannot hold personal details of Bus Companies' employees (cf. http://questions.london.gov.uk/QuestionSearch/searchclient/questions/que...). Do you agree that the new GDPR Law only further erodes the arguments that you have been providing for over three years to have TfL dis-intermediate the public from having direct contact information for the Bus Operators and their MDs who are legally responsible for the safety of TfL's contracted Buses?

Answer

Answer for Who Runs Your Bus

Answer for Who Runs Your Bus

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Bus operators are operating services on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), and it is vital that TfL retains oversight of safety complaints so it can effectively hold operators to account and drive improvements. Its ability to do this would be compromised if safety complaints were passed direct to operators, bypassing TfL.  If TfL receives a safety complaint, it ensures that this is promptly passed on to the right part of the operator for investigation, and that the customers are responded to within the timeframes set out in its Customer Charter.

As I explained in my response to Mayor’s Question 2018/2363, TfL has made changes to its website to make it easier for people to report safety incidents across all its services, including the bus network. Early indications are that these changes are proving extremely effective. In the first week alone, 35 safety complaints were immediately categorised for safety investigation.

I do not see how customers would benefit from replacing a well-known, easily-accessible ‘one stop shop’ for all complaints about TfL services with a system whereby people have to identify and then contact individual bus operators.

TfL does provide information on its bus operators on its ‘Who Runs Your Buses’ webpage. However, I have asked TfL to consider how it can improve this page. I also understand that TfL is working to embed bus company contact information into individual bus route pages.