New funding for bus operators to develop safety improvements

15 November 2017
"Innovative ideas from the operators have the potential to make a big difference to bus safety and we look forward to seeing how the trials progress"

TfL has awarded a £500,000 pot to six bus operators to develop new ideas that will improve safety across London's bus network.

The successful bids from the TfL Bus Safety Innovation Fund were announced yesterday at the London Bus Safety Summit.

The summit brought together industry professionals focusing on safety culture as part of TfL's work to reduce the number of people seriously injured or killed on London's bus network.

Improve workplace behaviour

Abellio, CT Plus, Go-Ahead, RATP, Tower Transit and Metroline were all awarded funding for their ideas for safety devices and to improve workplace behaviour.

The ideas included alarms to alert nearby pedestrians to approaching buses, sensors, acceleration limiters, psychometric testing and a joint project with London Cycling Campaign to introduce road user champions in depots.

The money will now be used to develop the winning ideas further. All the projects will run on a trial basis on selected routes starting from next year.

Improving safety

If the trials are successful they will be considered for introduction across the wider bus network following consultation with unions and staff.

Val Shawcross, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said: 'We're committed to improving safety on London's roads and are working hard to improve the bus network.

'Innovative ideas from the operators have the potential to make a big difference to bus safety and we look forward to seeing how the trials progress.'

Collaborative efforts

Leon Daniels, TfL's Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: 'Making the bus network safer and reducing road danger are key priorities for us and the Mayor. We are pleased to have had so many innovative bids from our bus operators, and I look forward to seeing the results of the trials.

'It is through the collaborative efforts of our operators and their drivers that we can move towards eradicating death and serious injury from the bus network, and making London's streets safer, better places for everyone.'

Ashok Sinha, London Cycling Campaign, said: 'London Cycling Campaign is pleased to be teaming up with RATPDev on an exciting project to improve road safety for vulnerable road users around buses.'

Safety on London's roads is a key part of the Mayor's Transport Strategy, and implementing measures such as the Bus Safety Innovation Fund will contribute to the Mayor's aim that no one will be killed in or by a London bus by 2030.

Current work from TfL to improve safety includes introducing better driver training and new technology to limit bus speeds automatically, making London's road junctions safer, redesigning buses themselves to make them safer for London's streets and creating a new Bus Safety Standard that will be incorporated into bus operator contracts from the end of 2018.

Notes to Editors
  • There are over 9000 buses in London's fleet, 2600 are hybrid and 71 electric
  • The Bus Safety Innovation Fund complements the Bus Safety Programme. A key component of the programme is the development of a bus safety standard for London. This will seek to ensure that we are harnessing those technologies and design innovations that will achieve the greatest casualty reductions. Full details can be found at
  • We asked operators to consider how TfL funding could help them deliver innovative ideas to reduce the number of people seriously injured or killed on the network, including staff within their own workforce
  • The scheme launched on 16th August and there was a 6 week application window for bus operators to submit their applications, the deadline was 29th September. It was only open to bus operators, not TfL staff, and we encouraged staff from across the businesses from management to bus drivers to share their ideas
  • In their application the bus operators had to provide:
  • a description of their bus safety improvement idea
  • what issues this would address and how they would hope it would improve safety
  • how they would measure success and benefits
  • how much funding would be required and value for money achieved
  • estimated timescales for delivery
  • information on whether this was a joint bid with another operator or 3rd party, which we encouraged
  • We received 14 bids from 6 different bus operators
  • There is also extensive work happening with our data. This will help us to understand more about why incidents are occurring on the bus network and identify appropriate countermeasures.
  • Bus specific road safety targets proposed in the Mayor's Transport Strategy are:
  1. An operational target to achieve zero people killed in or by a London bus by 2030
  2. An operational target of a 70% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in or by a bus, by 2021/22 from the 2005-09 baseline (using STATS19 data)