Bendy Buses.. and PR at work

Further to Moving Target’s website and that the post about Bendy Buses are ‘supposedly safe’. I am glad Moving Target highlighted the story.

As a reminder on how dangerous bendy buses are, here is an article by Andrew Gilligan, written last October:- (this was about a man dragged under a bendy bus).

“According to one witness, the road surface was covered in a trail of blood. The victim’s boots and pieces of his clothing were scattered along the carriageway. Another account said he was screaming.

It is hard to imagine what it must have been like to be Lee Beckwith, the 21-year-old from Brentwood who got trapped under a bendy bus on Tuesday and was grated to death like a piece of cheese.

But it is all too easy for any bendy bus user to understand what was, for me, the even greater horror. The driver and passengers on that bus had a man dying under their feet for nine minutes, dragged him for more than a mile, and they didn’t even know.

After it had finally ejected Mr Beckwith’s broken body on to the road, the bus went on its way. The driver didn’t find out what had happened until he was drinking his tea back at the depot.

That bus driver, God help him, may now be pulled apart in a kind of judicial version of what happened to Lee Beckwith. Perhaps he deserves to be; perhaps not. But the fact is that if he’d been driving any other kind of London bus, he simply couldn’t have failed to notice a trapped passenger. The broader responsibility for Beckwith’s death lies not with the hapless driver but with the rather better-paid people who put him at the wheel of a vehicle that many believe is unsafe.

Lee Beckwith’s mother, say relatives, is so upset that she has not said a single word since hearing the news. When she recovers the power of speech, she might consider sueing the Mayor, and his transport commissioner, Peter Hendy, because they have known for months the damning statistics that this newspaper reported in June.

According to figures slipped out to the London Assembly by TfL itself, bendy buses cause 5.6 pedestrian injuries per million miles operated, compared with

2.6 per million for all other buses. They are involved in 2.62 collisions with cyclists per million miles, compared with only 0.97 per million for all other buses. And they have 153 accidents per million miles, compared with only 87 per million on non-bendy routes.

Bendy buses had 1,751 accidents in the year to April. That is an average of nearly five a day – and more than five accidents a year for every single bendy in the fleet. They injured 90 people, some very seriously, such as a man at Victoria who lost both legs. They also catch fire.

Worst of all, Beckwith was the third Londoner to be killed by a bendy bus in 10 months. Although there are only 350 bendies in the whole of London – around five per cent of the bus fleet – they are responsible for nearly 20 per cent of bus-related deaths. (Even the old Routemasters, with their open platform from which people occasionally fell, were safer.++) ” (++Velochick: Noooooo, I would disagree with that, they’re are just as dangerous as each other)


As someone who has witnessed a person going under a ‘Routemaster’ bus’ wheels, near London Bridge, when I was commuting ages ago (I was on a bus at the time), I really cannot understand how the impression is that they’re safe. If a routemaster is unsafe, then, clearly a bendy bus isn’t either!

Going back to the story, about the driver who didn’t know that someone was under the bus, well, I don’t understand it. When I saw the accident in London Bridge, there were loads of people about who saw the accident and would have brought the matter to the driver’s attention.

Bendy Buses are not safe and I can’t believe they’re still here.


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