Lords amendment: staff can help improve bus safety

“I have written to the Minister in charge of putting the Bus Bill through Parliament asking for a meeting to discuss whether the Government will support my amendment on bus drivers having access to an independent whistleblowing service. People working in the rail industry already have this and after lobbying by Green Party Assembly members, Transport for London are requiring all their bus operators to sign up to it.

Statistics released by the Department for Transport show that 5,381 collisions with buses and coaches were recorded in 2015, of which 64 resulted in fatalities and 638 resulted in serious injuries. Given how vital buses are and the desperate need to have a rapidly expanding network across the country, the issue of safety needs addressing.

The independent reporting service is run by a well-respected organisation called CIRAS and allows staff to have a confidential way of passing on information and comments about the industry they work in. The aim being to improve the service passengers provide and to make journey’s safer for everyone. The staff on London’s bus network already have this and they deal with over half of the passenger journeys in England. Given that London bus operators account for 80% of the market nationally, it wouldn’t add much to costs if CIRAS was expanded to cover the operators in the remaining fifth of the market.

The amendment would also require operators to collect bus casualty data and provide it to the applicable authority, and it would require those authorities to publish quarterly casualty data on their web site. Transport for London have done this since 2014, providing more transparency for the public both on the extent of the problems and the very varied safety record of different operators.”

Please help by lobbying:

Conservative Minister Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon ahmadt@parliament.uk

Labour spokesperson Lord Rosser contactholmember@parliament.uk

Lib Dem Principle spokesperson Lord Teverson teversonr@parliament.uk