A push towards making London’s buses safer

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Oliver Salbris: ‘Every bus driver is a hero. It’s a very hard job. It’s a job with a lot of responsibility and stress.’ GARETH EVANS

Transport for London is working to make its buses safer – but is it a case of too little too late, or even too much too soon, asks Richard Simpson

The everyday challenges faced by London’s bus drivers were thrown into the public limelight recently by the Putney Bridge incident in which a male jogger appeared to deliberately push a woman into the path of a bus.
A serious injury or death was only avoided by the prompt reactions of the driver. Oliver Salbris, who was driving for Go-Ahead London, swerved his bus around the fallen woman and brought it to a halt before going to her aid.

Interviewed by the media, Mr Salbris was reluctant to be singled-out as a hero, pointing out that: “Every bus driver is a hero. It’s a very hard job. It’s a job with a lot of responsibility and stress.”

And he wasn’t wrong. London bus drivers face a possibly unique series of challenges, with sometimes violent competition for road space from other users, including a rapidly-growing number of cyclists, and the ever-present background threat of becoming a terrorist target, besides the day-to-day matters arising when dealing with the travelling public in one of the busiest and most cosmopolitan cities in the world. […]

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