TfL sets out ‘tough measures’ to reduce bus driver fatigue following study

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Better partnership working between TfL, bus operators and bus drivers will deliver an even safer bus network, report concludes

Transport for London (TfL) has unveiled a package of what it describes as ‘tough measures’ to improve road safety by tackling bus driver fatigue.

The newly-released Bus Driver Fatigue Report provides more information for the industry to act on to achieve TfL’s ambition of no deaths or serious injuries on London’s roads.

The study was commissioned by TfL in response to Unite the Union’s work to highlight the complex issue, and conducted by Loughborough University and the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute (VTI).

Key measures announced as a result include commitments that:

  • Rigorous fatigue risk management systems will be required for any company to operate London buses under new contracts next year;
  • TfL will ensure that all managers in bus garages have undertaken fatigue training;
  • TfL will make £500,000 available to help operators undertake further work to establish the most effective interventions to reduce fatigue;
  • All rosters will be reviewed by operators against best practice to reduce the risk of fatigue;
  • TfL and operators will ensure driver representatives are given the opportunity to be trained in fatigue;
  • There will be a greater focus on the health and wellbeing of drivers; and
  • TfL will foster a more open and honest culture across the industry.

The new report provides more evidence for TfL’s Bus Safety Programme, which has targeted issues identified by collision data and aims to deliver immediate improvements to road safety.

This study provides new information to help address the risk of collisions. Although the report authors have not suggested that there is a single solution, they did conclude that better partnership working between TfL, bus operators and bus drivers will deliver an even safer bus network.

Claire Mann, Director of Bus Operations at TfL, said: “We launched our Bus Safety Programme to eliminate death or serious injury involving buses from our roads. Collision data has so far helped us deliver a safety-focused training course for all drivers and newly designed safer buses.

“This report builds on the issues that Unite the Union raised, and allows the whole industry to go one step further. With the evidence from this study, we will require bus operators to have fatigue risk management systems and more formal fatigue training for managers.

“We’re also working with the bus operators and Unite to create a programme to gather ideas for how we can further respond to the report. It is through working together across the industry that we can address this vital issue and make our buses lead the way when it comes to reducing risk on the roads.”