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Mayor Sadiq Khan confirms news in reply to question from Green Assembly Member Caroline Russell

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that Transport for London (TfL) will start monitoring ‘close passes’ by bus drivers operating services in the capital.

The news was confirmed in a written reply to a question from Green Party Assembly Member Caroline Russell.

At Mayor’s Question Time on 22 June, she told Khan that she had asked TfL “how it records public complaints about ‘close pass’ driving by bus drivers.”

She said that TfL had replied: “All of the complaints we receive are given a code when logged, but there isn’t a code this detailed so we cannot provide an exact number for you.

“The closest code we use is ‘Driver – Poor / dangerous driving’, which will not illustrate how many of the complaints relate to buses driving too close to cyclists.”

She asked the mayor: “Will you ask TfL to introduce a new code so that it can record and monitor incidents of this type?”

In reply, he said: “TfL encourages people to report all cycle safety issues,” and provided a link where they could do so.

The mayor, whose father was a bus driver, continued: “I am pleased to say that, following your request, TfL has introduced a new code for TfL customer services to record and monitor where buses drive too close to cyclists.”

He added: “The date, time, location and route can also be included when registering a bus that is thought to have driven too close to a cyclist.”

Tom Kearney, who was left in a coma after he was struck by a bus on Oxford Street shortly before Christmas 2009 told Russell on Twitter: “This is great.”

But he queried whether the mayor would “Tell TfL bus operators they’ll be prosecuted like West Midlands Police does?” in a reference to its highly successful close pass initiative which has now been adopted by forces nationwide.

The day before Russell posed her question to the mayor, Khan unveiled his Vision Zero for road traffic casualties in the capital, pledging that the city would “aim for no one to be killed in or by a London bus by 2030, and for all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated from London’s streets by 2041.”

> Sadiq Khan pledges 'Vision Zero' for road casualties in London

However, even the most cursory of glances at Twitter posts tagged with the #LondonBusWatch hashtag that Kearney created, or his saferoxfordstreet.blogspot.co.uk blog which highlights issues with bus safety in London, leaves no doubt that there is a long way to go to achieve that.

> Videos: Instructor tells trainee London bus driver to leave 1 inch passing space for every 1mph of speed

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

9 comments

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hughsain [10 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Good news. Personally I find bus drivers pretty damn good in London, all things considered. I did see a very unavoury incident a few months ago when a teenager (stupidly) pulled out in front of a bus, which prompted the bus driver to immediately accelerate closely past him, brake check him, and then pull in incredibly sharply at the next bus stop. Ridiculous behaviour and it's to my shame that I didn't report it, only shouted at the driver at the next lights (he was adamant the kid had deserved it, and didn't try to deny what he'd done).

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don simon [1160 posts] 1 month ago
9 likes

If only there was a web site that was prepared to scour the internet to find examples of bad passes and then publish the worst on a daily basis.

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Grahamd [545 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Watch the internet melt...

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crazy-legs [883 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

NYC has a Vision Zero policy in place. So far it seems to consist mainly of cyclists being fined by police for a variety of faults, real or perceived. If you look at the excellent Bike Snopb NYC blog http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.co.uk/ he pulls the whole ridiculous process to pieces on a regular basis.

However credit where it's due, at least they're acknowledging the issue of close passes.

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kitkat [456 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
don simon wrote:

If only there was a web site that was prepared to scour the internet to find examples of bad passes and then publish the worst on a daily basis.

Keep dreaming mate, keep dreaming

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scouser_andy [21 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

"Khan unveiled his Vision Zero for road traffic casualties in the capital, pledging that the city would “aim for no one to be killed in or by a London bus by 2030, and for all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated from London’s streets by 2041."

 

This is not compatible with the approach of using bus lanes as cycling infra - something that City Hall seems to think is ok. Only a sea-change in attitude will mean they can achieve this goal.

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BehindTheBikesheds [503 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Got call from old bill today re a close pass by an Arriva bus, seemingly there is no CCTV onboard the bus and so it's my word against his.

Police will swallow any old pony ffs!

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ChrisB200SX [437 posts] 1 month ago
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BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

Got call from old bill today re a close pass by an Arriva bus, seemingly there is no CCTV onboard the bus and so it's my word against his.

Police will swallow any old pony ffs!

if you genuinely believe the bus has you on camera, try a FOI request. They are legally obliged to provide you with any pics/video they have of you, they might charge you an administrative fee, but it may confirm your suspicion AND provide you with evidence. Maybe use a different name so they don't realise it's the same person?

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RobD [471 posts] 1 month ago
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Disapointingly I thought this was going to be a story about additional cameras/measuring device being fitted to busses (or using existing camera footage to review driver behaviour) but at least it's a start, I've never really thought to report busses using the number, I've always wondered if anything gets done about it. Some of the ones round here are pretty bad, although that's not helped by the routes they're forced to take really aren't suitable for busses and regularly cause a lot of congestion when they're trying to squeeze through small gaps.