The recent spate of Bus smashes pushes us to remind our readers what Tony Akers, Transport for London’s head of bus operations, actually means when he says “There will be a full investigation”
The truth is:
- Transport for London will NOT investigate
- An investigation will be carried out by the contractor and by the Police, but Transport for London does NOT receive copies of the investigation
In other words, the investigation could be a sham or could reveal some important truths and Transport for London wouldn’t know.
This is a regulator who wants to be blind, so that it can continue to run an operation, which last year killed 14 Londoners, with impunity.
Tom Kearney, SMK Transport Campaigner of the Year, made a Freedom of Information request, asking TfL to disclose the correspondence between TfL and contractors following fatal crashes caused by TfL Buses. TfL has refused to disclose the information.
Now, one of the primary roles of a regulator is to inspect that what people say they did is actually true.
How can the Mayor and the Board of Transport for London be assured that these crashes are properly investigated and that lessons are learned to prevent similar crashes if TfL does not inspect whether the investigations have been carried out professionally?
Wouldn’t management, the Mayor and members of the Board be liable to the charge of corporate manslaughter if it is proven that TfL’s regulatory framework is not fit for purpose?
These crashes cannot be blamed on “pedestrians throwing themselves onto the path of a bus”. They are either the result of mechanical faults or driver errors, but TfL doesn’t want to know, because otherwise it would have to start fixing things.
I leave you with this video, with a reminder to Sadiq Khan: “This could have been you, walking on the pavement. Are you going to instruct TfL to do things properly, or is the ‘world leading’ Bus Safety Programme another piece of Boris spin?”