CIRAS stakeholder manager Amanda O’Donoghue attended TfL’s Bus Safety Summit in October. The event officially launched TfL’s Bus Safety Standard, part of its strategy to develop new safety features on buses to meet its target of no one killed in, or by, a London bus by 2030. Here, we look at what the Bus Safety Standard covers and how it might benefit the wider transport industry. 

TfL commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory to help develop the standard, and the TRL consulted with bus manufacturers and operators and conducted field testing to ensure the outcome was evidence based. 

As well as setting out the specifications for TfL bus design, the Standard includes assessment measures and guidance notes to help bus operators and manufacturers meet the requirements, and advice on how compliance will be evaluated. Not all the technologies are available immediately, so the Standard’s implementation schedule gives manufacturers time to develop and implement the new safety features. The resulting advances in bus design will then be available, not just to TfL, but also to the wider industry.

The standard covers several areas, some of which may have wider application for other parts of the transport sector:

  • Measures to help drivers avoid or mitigate the severity of incidents e.g. brake and speed assist and improved vision.
  • Measures to help other road users to avoid collision with buses e.g. acoustic and visual features to alert road users to the bus’s presence.
  • Measures to reduce the severity of injuries for other road users if a collision occurs e.g. bus front end design.
  • Measures to reduce the severity of injuries for bus passengers if sharp braking or a collision occurs e.g. slip protection and occupant friendly grab-poles.
  • Measures to control the speed of the bus to assist the driver in recognising ever-changing road signage and conditions in London, through Intelligent Speed Adaptation.
  • New pedal configurations and design made consistent across the future London bus fleet, to help avoid confusion over differing bus cab controls.

At the event, there were several demonstrations of the new technologies being tested by London’s bus operators, with the help of funding by TfL:

 

If you are interested in finding out more about the Bus Safety Standard and the original research that underpins the Standard, visit the TfL website at https://tfl.gov.uk/corporate/publications-and-reports/bus-safety-data