TfL received 250 complaints in a fortnight last August
A bus driver who slammed on the brakes so sharply that a baby was “sent flying” to the floor in his pram reportedly told the child’s terrified mother: “This is how I always drive.”
The mother is one of more than 250 people who lodged complaints with Transport for London in the space of a fortnight last August, according to information obtained by the Standard under Freedom of Information laws.
Other complaints include a bus driver accused of going “as fast as possible” the wrong way around a roundabout and another said to be so distracted by a female pedestrian that he hit a cyclist.
There were also 37 complaints of speeding, 13 of running red lights or zebra crossings and three reports of drivers using phones at the wheel.
In the first alleged incident, the mother was travelling from Harrow Road in north-west London towards the city centre on the 36 bus with her toddler and six-month-old son.
The driver was said to have “braked so harshly” at the Hyde Park Corner roundabout that “the pushchair went flying and landed on the floor with the baby inside”.
The complaint report into the alleged incident on August 1 reads: “The customer went to approach the driver about this and asked him to drive more carefully but he responded: ‘This is how I always drive.’
“He was rude and did not offer any apology although at this point the baby was crying due to the fall. She will be taking her baby to the hospital as well as she’s worried that the impact of the fall may have hurt him.”
On average Transport for London receives between 4,000 and 5,000 complaints a year. It said the figure must been seen in the context of the capital’s 2.4 billion annual bus journeys.
A report into the driver of a 140 bus who was accused of driving “as fast as possible” the wrong way around a roundabout said: “People were falling over and a little girl got hurt.
“The driver did not even apologise and just carried on even when people were questioning him.”
One man complained he was almost hit by a W13 bus while crossing the road with his one-year-old son: “The light went red, I could see the W13 bus approaching at speed and hesitated.
“The bus made no attempt to stop for the red light and if anything seemed to accelerate as it went through.” There were 25 incidents involving cyclists. One passenger witnessed a 53 bus “overtake a cyclist causing her to be forced off the road and have to throw herself off the bike to ensure she did not get hit”.
Another described a 45 bus driver being distracted by a female pedestrian, saying: “He was concentrating on her so much that he didn’t see a cyclist and hit them.” Previous Freedom of Information requests to TfL related to a longer time period but were refused as there was too much data to collate.
A TfL spokeswoman said: “Any complaint about a bus driver would be logged and passed on the relevant bus operator. The bus operating company then deals with the driver according to their internal disciplinary procedures. We do not share the outcome of disciplinary procedures.”
Mike Weston, TfL’s director of buses, said: “Passenger satisfaction is hugely important to TfL — in fact our organisational ethos is ‘every journey matters’.
“The statistics in question here must be considered in the context of the 2.4 billion bus journeys that are made each year across a bus network that comprises 8,700 buses, operating on around 700 bus routes and travelling more than 490 million kilometres in passenger service.”
Source: London Evening Standard