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TfL to start recording close passes by capital’s bus drivers

Mayor Sadiq Khan confirms news in reply to question from Green Assembly Member Caroline Russell

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said that Transport for London (TfL) will start monitoring ‘close passes’ by bus drivers operating services in the capital.

The news was confirmed in a written reply to a question from Green Party Assembly Member Caroline Russell.

At Mayor’s Question Time on 22 June, she told Khan that she had asked TfL “how it records public complaints about ‘close pass’ driving by bus drivers.”

She said that TfL had replied: “All of the complaints we receive are given a code when logged, but there isn’t a code this detailed so we cannot provide an exact number for you.

“The closest code we use is ‘Driver – Poor / dangerous driving’, which will not illustrate how many of the complaints relate to buses driving too close to cyclists.”

She asked the mayor: “Will you ask TfL to introduce a new code so that it can record and monitor incidents of this type?”

In reply, he said: “TfL encourages people to report all cycle safety issues,” and provided a link where they could do so.

The mayor, whose father was a bus driver, continued: “I am pleased to say that, following your request, TfL has introduced a new code for TfL customer services to record and monitor where buses drive too close to cyclists.”

He added: “The date, time, location and route can also be included when registering a bus that is thought to have driven too close to a cyclist.”

Tom Kearney, who was left in a coma after he was struck by a bus on Oxford Street shortly before Christmas 2009 told Russell on Twitter: “This is great.”

But he queried whether the mayor would “Tell TfL bus operators they’ll be prosecuted like West Midlands Police does?” in a reference to its highly successful close pass initiative which has now been adopted by forces nationwide.

The day before Russell posed her question to the mayor, Khan unveiled his Vision Zero for road traffic casualties in the capital, pledging that the city would “aim for no one to be killed in or by a London bus by 2030, and for all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated from London’s streets by 2041.”

> Sadiq Khan pledges 'Vision Zero' for road casualties in London

However, even the most cursory of glances at Twitter posts tagged with the #LondonBusWatch hashtag that Kearney created, or his blog which highlights issues with bus safety in London, leaves no doubt that there is a long way to go to achieve that.

> Videos: Instructor tells trainee London bus driver to leave 1 inch passing space for every 1mph of speed

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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