Unite backs call to drive up standards and tackle safe...

Unite backs call to drive up standards and tackle safety on London’s buses

17 July 2017

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) must implement the findings of the London Assembly transport committee report, Driven to distraction, as a matter of urgency to drive up safety and reduce the stress and fatigue of London’s 26,000 bus drivers.

The call by London bus drivers’ union, Unite, follows today’s (Monday 17 July) publication of Driven to distraction, which identifies long shifts, inadequate breaks and irregular shift patterns as causing high levels of stress among the capital’s bus drivers.

Warning against speed increasingly being put before safety, Unite backed the transport committee’s call to revise the incentive scheme for bus operators and place the emphasis on bus safety rather than solely on punctuality.

Commenting Unite regional officer John Murphy said: “London bus drivers do one of the most stressful jobs in the capital. It will alarm passengers that they have to work in regime which places speed ahead of safety, driving under constant pressure to run on time on some of the busiest streets in the country.  

“Unite has long been calling for action to be taken to alleviate stress and fatigue on London’s buses and welcomes the London Assembly transport committee’s report. It cannot be allowed to gather dust and its recommendations overlooked or ignored.

“We need a shift in working culture on London’s buses with driver and bus safety the priority, rather than squeezing costs and meeting incentive targets.

“The mayor of London and TfL need to place safety ahead of punctuality when contracts are awarded and implement the key findings of this report as a matter of urgency.”


For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.