Research from Age UK shows that every day,Â 800 older peopleÂ fall on a bus. Many of these passengers fall because of unsafe bus driving. Activists from acrossLondon have been surveying their local buses, documenting how frequently drivers drive off without waiting for passengers to be seated. Sometimes, drivers sometimes accelerate away from the stop without waiting for passengers to find a seat.
GuidanceÂ from Transport for London (TfL) is clear: â€“ drivers should wait until everyone is seated before moving off. And bus companies are increasingly usingÂ TelematicsÂ technology to encourage smoother driving â€“ which is more fuel efficient, as well as being more safe and comfortable for passengers.
Most bus drivers do drive with consideration. However, some drivers are still driving away before passengers are safely sitting down, and putting people at risk.
Transport for All will use the results of the bus survey to lobby TfL to improve its bus driver training schemes and encourage safer driving. Just one fall on a bus, or fear of falling, can put someone off using buses and leave them isolated at home. Itâ€™s estimated that around 25 people every day fracture their hip as a result of falling on buses. TheÂ cost to the NHSÂ of a hip fracture is about Â£10,000.
Day of Action
â€œOn the busesâ€ day has been organised forÂ 6th September. Disabled and older Londoners will be gathering at 10:30am at four meeting points aroundLondon:
We will then board Londonbuses to Westminster(Parliament Square), where we will go to the Abbey Centre for lunch and â€˜question timeâ€™ Senior figures from Transport for London, various bus companies and the London Assembly have been invited to attend. You will have your chance to put your questions to the panel
The event ends at 3pm and includes free lunch and tea.
If you would like to take part, please register by 16th August. Contact Lianna Etkind, Campaigns and Outreach Co-ordinator at Transport for All viaÂ emailÂ or phone 020 7737 2339.Â Places are limited.
Research from Age Concern and Help the Aged shows thatÂ 1.96 million older people are concernedÂ about falling on a bus. The survey results will be published in June, ahead of a meeting of the London Assembly Transport Committee which will hear back from TfL about its plans to improve bus driver training.
Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle underground station (Northern and Bakerloo lines).
Nearest Railway Station: Elephant & Castle
Buses from Elephant and Castle: ask bus driver for Burgess Park. Bus numbers: 12, 171, 148, 176, 68, 484, 42, 40, 45