Bus companies won't educate drivers on cyclists, MP claims

'Roads too dangerous', Leech told

by Tom Henry   January 8, 2010  

john leech.jpg

A Manchester MP campaigning to send bus drivers on cycle training courses claims local bus companies are refusing to do so - because of the dangers on the road.

John Leech, Lib Dem member for Manchester Withington, says that his request to First Bus to send their drivers on the proficiency courses "so that they can appreciate the position of cyclists and recognise the dangers they face"  was turned down flat. Mr Leech's suggestion followed a near miss between a bus and one of his constituents.

He posted on his blog: "First responded was that there were 'a host of potential health, fitness, safety and industrial relations issues' that prevents them from implementing such a scheme.

"We're just going round in circles - if even the bus companies think that the roads are too dangerous for their own drivers to cycle around, how are standards going to improve?"

The news comes as Greater Manchester awaits the result of a £29 million bid to become the country's first 'sustainable travel city'.

The bid includes proposals for an innovative network of five flagship cycle centres in the regional centre, offering cycle parking facilities, showers and changing facilities, short-term bike hire, information and workshop and training facilities. The cycle centres would also function as centres for sustainable travel and smarter driving advice.

There will also be plans to introduce a cycle repair, maintenance, recycling and training scheme, which could remove 5,000 bicycles each year from the waste stream and provide safe, low-cost bicycles for students, return-to-work schemes and deprived areas.






5 user comments

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Oh lord, John Leech is my MP.

Right, I shall be having a word in his shell-like to see what I can do to assist. FWIW - and I have no doubt Manchester is not special in this regard - he is right in the implication of what he is saying: bus drivers round here are extraordinarily cavalier with the lives of all other road users and their own passengers.

posted by ourmaninthenorth [93 posts]
8th January 2010 - 17:11


Intersting, I've noticed a decline in the driving capabilities of London's bus drivers. Speeding, red light running and aggressive driving seem commonplace now. I don't know how they're being trained nowadays but they're notably worse than they were 10 years ago.


posted by OldRidgeback [2308 posts]
8th January 2010 - 17:25


They're not so great in these parts either http://road.cc/content/forum/10283-mad-bus-driver-a38-south-glous

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4160 posts]
8th January 2010 - 17:26


Princess Street / Portland Street in Manchester lays host to the "Red Light Jumping" olypmics by bus drivers.

I've contacted said bus companies with video footage, but they aren't interested!

I think they need to start to learn to drive before they are let out on a bike in their straight jackets

jobysp's picture

posted by jobysp [145 posts]
8th January 2010 - 19:22


Dont know how they have the gall to go for 'sustainable travel city' when the roads are so dangerous. Not sure a shower and somewhere to park my bike quite removes the 'not sure whats going on behind me' feeling.

posted by JohnInStockie [3 posts]
8th January 2010 - 21:08