Stoke Newington pedestrian bus death renews concerns over TfL’s safety record

The scene of the crash.

The scene of the crash. - Credit: Archant

The death of a woman after she collided with a bus in Stoke Newington has renewed concerns over Transport for London (TfL)’s safety record, says a campaigner.

The 56-year-old pedestrian was in collision with a rail replacement bus at the junction of Princess May Road and Stoke Newington Road at 4.30pm on Saturday.

She was taken to hospital but died in the early hours of Monday.

Police have not named her but her family has been told.

In July, a cyclist was critically injured in Stamford Hill and a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by campaigner Tom Kearney has revealed that since 2008 buses operating for TfL have been involved in 2,026 collisions resulting in serious injury or death with pedestrians and cyclists. This equates to an average of at least one serious injury every day and one death every month.

Mr Kearney, who was hit by a bendy bus in Oxford Street in Christmas 2009, said: “For a guy who’s had his head cracked open, both lungs popped and spent two weeks in a near death coma as a result of being struck by a bendy bus, let’s just say I have a visceral reaction to the never-ending flow of stories about TfL bus-pedestrian collisions that I’ve heard about since waking up.”

Mr Kearney believes Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, and TfL Commissioner Sir Peter Hendy should be held to account for the number of deaths and injuries because TfL gives more weight to customer satisfaction in its contract performance targets than reducing deaths and injuries.

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He said: “The problem is that TfL and the bus companies operate under contracts which are unreasonable for a busy city and would compel bus drivers to drive with no duty of care. The drivers are under immense amounts of pressure to meet time targets, so they take risks and make bad decisions they normally wouldn’t.

“A vehicle that has 10 times the power of a car needs to be driven more carefully.”

Bob Scowen, managing director at Arriva London, offered condolences to the woman’s family and friends.

“We have now passed the CCTV images from the bus to the Metropolitan Police and will continue to help them with their investigation,” he added.

Ken Davidson, TfL’s head of bus operations, said: “The number of incidents needs to be considered in the context of the London bus network that comprises 8,500 buses that operate across 700 bus routes and carry more than 2.3billion passengers every year.

“The proportion of road traffic accidents involving London buses which result in an injury is actually very small, at six per cent and falling.”