New Bus Safety Standard for London with some measures coming into force in 2019

Transport for London has introduced a new Bus Safety Standard which aims to help deliver the mayor’s target of no-one being killed on or by a London bus by 2030. The standard sets out requirements that all bus operators must adopt by 2024, as well as a range of safety features required from next year, including speed limiters, an audible alert for pedestrians and other road users of the presence of buses, slip reduction measures inside buses such as high-grip flooring, more blindspot mirrors and reversing cameras and pedal indicator warnings for drivers.

The safety measures have been tested by the  Transport Research Laboratory in liaison with bus manufacturers and operators. In the longer term, the standard will require operators to incorporate new features by 2024 including advanced emergency braking, pedal confusion interventions and redesigned bus fronts that reduce the impact of any collisions.

“Although progress has been made making our buses safer, every single death or serious injury on our roads is unacceptable, and I’m delighted that London is leading the way across the world using technology to make buses safer for everyone on our roads,” says Heidi Alexander, deputy mayor for transport. “

London Assembly members have welcomed the initiative but suggested that they do not go far enough and are calling for a faster implementation across the London bus fleet.

“We welcome TfL’s announcement of a new Bus Safety Standard in a bid to make Londoners’ journeys on buses safer. However, these measures simply do not go far enough,” says Caroline Pidgeon, chair of the London Assembly transport committee. “These proposals TfL have put forward are not only a year late but they only apply to new buses.

“In July 2016, TfL promised that the BSS would be introduced to bus contracts from December 2017. We are now at the end of 2018 and being told that only new buses will meet the BSS by some time next year. This means the vast majority of London’s bus fleet will still be on the road and will not be up to the Bus Safety Standard.”