Labour Research September 2017

Health & Safety Matters

Bus staff driven to distraction

London bus drivers are suffering high levels of stress and fatigue as a result of long shifts, inadequate breaks and irregular shift patterns, according to a London Assembly transport committee report, Driven to distraction.

The Unite general union called on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London (TfL) to implement the report’s recommendations in order to drive up safety and reduce stress and fatigue among the capital’s 26,000 bus drivers. The union says that speed is increasingly being put before safety and wants the incentive scheme for bus operators to be revised to put the emphasis on safety rather than solely on punctuality. 

The Assembly’s investigation aimed to get to the root causes of incidents that have killed 25 people and injured a further 12,000 over the last two years.

In other news, rail unions ASLEF and RMT have blamed record levels of overcrowding on trains on privatisation. A Labour Party analysis found that the 10 busiest lines are carrying almost double (190%) their capacity, up almost a third since 2011. 

The RMT said the figures show that overcrowding is “a national disgrace” which could only be resolved through public ownership, while ASLEF renewed its call for the “properly integrated, properly managed, publicly-owned railway” that “Jeremy Corbyn has promised”.