Metroline tops London bus operator list for most injuries from bus collisions

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Metroline tops London bus operator list for most injuries caused by collisions with 635 injuries since 2014 as GMB calls for London Mayor to implement London Bus Drivers 'Bill of Rights' and change contract to reduce collisions

2.7 people per day have been injured in TFL bus collisions and of those an average of 4.3 people have been killed or seriously injured every week over five years says GMB London

A new study by GMB London of official data from Transport for London (TFL) for injuries arising from collisions by outsourced bus operators in London shows that in the 5 years since 2014 a total of 4,942 people have been injured, of which 49 were killed and 1,068 were taken to hospital.

This has led GMB to call on the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to implement a London Bus Drivers ‘Bill of Rights’ and amend bus operator’s contracts to protect both drivers and pedestrians from bus collisions.

The study shows the number of collisions caused by each of the 24 bus operators contracted by TfL to service London’s many bus routes.

The study shows that Metroline tops the list for total injuries arisen from collisions by bus operator. In the five years from 2014, collisions by Metroline buses have caused 635 total injuries, including 7 fatal and 7 requiring hospital attention.

Second on the list was Arriva London North, which were involved in collisions leading to 627 total injuries, including 7 fatal and 21 requiring hospital attendance. Over the same period Arriva London North made around £80.82 million in pre-tax profits. This means that for every 7.76 injuries caused by a collision involving an Arriva London North bus, the company made £1 million in profit.

Next on the list is the East London Bus Company, with 597 total injuries caused by collisions, including 5 fatal and 8 requiring hospital attendance. East London bus company made a pre-tax profit of £19.72 million over the 5 years, equating to around 30 injuries for every £1 million made in profit.

London General Bus Company is next on the list with 441 total injuries, 4 fatal and 17 requiring hospital attendance. London General is the key subsidiary of the Go Ahead Group which also includes London Central (296 injuries, 5 fatal, 14 hospitalised), Metrobus (189 injuries, 2 fatal, 9 hospitalised), Blue Triangle Buses (65 injuries, 5 hospitalised) and Docklands Buses (28 injuries). These companies help make up the total profit of £203.39 million for London General between 2014 and 2018.

A previous study by the GMB showed that the City of Westminster was the London Borough which experienced the most incidents involving bus collisions with 350 injuries between 2014 and 2018. [See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases]

See below for full list for the number of injuries and types of injuries reported between 2014 and 2018 for 24 bus companies outsourced by TfL, as well as pre-tax profit during the same period and total injuries per £1 million made in profit.

GMB London Region is campaigning for the safe operation of TfL buses in London. This follows a resolution on bus safety and the public carried at the GMB Congress last year.

Operators Fatal Injuries requiring hospital attendance Injuries treated on scene Reported Taken to Hospital – Reported Serious Injury or Severity Unknown Total Injuries arising from collisions Pre-tax profits (£millions unless stated) Total injuries from collisions per £million in profit
Metroline 7 7 376 113 132 635 NA NA
Arriva London North   7 21 405 42 152 627 80.82 7.76
East London 5 8 401 78 105 597 19.72 30.27
London General 4 17 213 96 111 441 203.39 2.17
London United 6 19 253 71 75 424 24.12 17.58
Selkent 2 17 263 61 51 394 52.74 7.47
Arriva London South 2 30 228 25 96 381 -3.41  
London Central* 5 14 136 65 76 296 NA NA
Abellio London 1 12 115 47 61 236 17.08 13.82
Metroline West 6 3 128 40 47 224 NA NA
Metrobus* 2 9 102 18 58 189 NA* NA
Tower Transit 1 5 76 50 19 151 NA NA
Arriva The Shires 1 3 41 5 15 65 NA NA
Blue Triangle Buses*   5 15 25 20 65 NA NA
London Sovereign   1 20 19 4 44 6.29 6.99
Abellio West   1 18 9 5 33 4.3 7.67
Arriva Kent Thameside   4 15 3 11 33 NA NA
Docklands Buses*     7 7 14 28 NA NA
Quality Line     15   7 22 6.29 NA
C T Plus     12 4 4 20 NA NA
H R Richmond   1 13 1 1 16 NA NA
TGM Group     8   4 12 NA NA
Metroline Travel   8       8 NA NA
Sullivan Bus & Coach     1     1 NA NA
Total 49 185 2861 779 1068 4942 291.384  
*Part of Go Ahead group of which London General is key subsidiary. Company forms part of the profits for London General.    

Tom Kearney, Founder of #LondonBusWatch andTfL Bus Crash Survivor:

"Last December marked the ninth anniversary of when an Arriva Route 73 Bendy Bus contracted by TfL struck the back of my head and my torso while I was at the edge of a crowded Oxford Street pedestrian crossing.  Because TfL, Arriva and the Police never bothered to contact me after I woke up from a Glasgow Coma Scale 3 coma in January 2010, I was compelled to investigate why I nearly died on 18 December 2009 all on my own.

“I have campaigned over these years for a safer public bus system and that can only happen when Bus Driver working conditions are improved AND TfL and its for-profit Bus Contractors are compelled to be transparent about and accountable for the operational safety performance of London’s surface transport fleet."

Steve Garelick, GMB Regional Organiser said:

“GMB London are calling for decisive action from the top to change the inherited culture at Transport for London and to ensure the safe operation of buses by the outsourced private for-profit operators.

“Overall in the last 5 years 4942 people have been injured in collisions by TfL buses. This is 2.7 people per day every day since the beginning of 2014. Of those injured an average of 4.3 people have been killed or seriously injured every week over five years.

“The safe operation of buses by the outsourced operators must be made TfL's top priority. We have to see an end to the current position on the endless toll of people killed and injured due to bus collisions.

“Sadiq Khan has to get a grip on the problem he inherited from the past managers who designed the outsourced killing machine that TfL presides over. Nothing less than fundamental reform of the Bus System's contract performance incentives to include safety is acceptable.

“Safe operation of buses require drivers rested and with a safe system of work and well-maintained vehicles, all items clearly spelled out in the London Bus Drivers’ ‘Bill of Rights’ which was presented to the Mayors representative by protesting TfL Bus Drivers on 14 September 2017. [See notes to editors for 10-point bill of rights]

“LondonBusWatch are calling for everyone to get behind this Bill of Rights for bus drivers. We are asking for everyone to press Sadiq Khan to accept this ‘Bill of Rights’ and, as TfL Chair see the ‘Bill of Rights’ adopted by TfL’s contracted bus companies and its implementation closely monitored by TfL."


Contact: Steve Garelick 07967 763980 or GMB London Press Office 07970 114762


Notes to Editors

1] Previous GMB Press Release

1,062 people killed or seriously injured in London bus collisions since 2014 (28 February)

2] “London Bus Drivers' ‘Bill of Rights’:

1.   The Right to a safe work schedule without any forced overtime or loss of pay

2.   The Right to a decent and proper rest break in the working day

3.   The Right to drive a safe and well-maintained vehicle

4.   The Right to clean, serviced toilet and rest facilities on all bus routes

5.   The Right to report safety concerns without fear of retribution from TfL or employers

6.   The Right, when seriously ill and covered by a doctor's note, to not be harassed into coming into work until fit to do so

7.   The Right to relevant and timely safety training

8.   The Right to drive without being forced to answer radio messages and texts from Controllers whilst in motion

9.   The Right to have all company rules in writing and clearly displayed

10. The Right to be treated with dignity and respect by our employers, TfL and the public.