Assistant Editor, Safety & Health Practitioner

July 3, 2019

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Fatigue

Clock ticking for TfL to act on bus workers’ fatigue says Unite

Unite, a British and Irish trade union, has demanded that Transport for London (TfL) finally acts to tackle bus drivers’ fatigue.

High levels of stress and fatigue among London bus drivers were highlighted in a report, ‘Driven to Distraction’, researched by the Greater London Assembly. However, Tfl have been criticised for ignoring these findings.

Unite Regional Officer, John Murphy, commented that “workers are being left exhausted by a combination of long hours, shift patterns which fail to allow workers time to recover and the lack of adequate rest facilities”.

Campaigns were raised by Unite to gain the support of Tfl and Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, in combating the issue. Tfl launched further in-depth research by Loughborough University, to study bus drivers’ fatigue, which United have said is now imminent.

“TfL, bus operators and the Mayor of London can’t continue to sweep this problem under the carpet, action must be taken. Unite which represents London bus workers must be fully consulted”, Mr Murphy added.

“If the Loughborough report recommends a radical overhaul of the existing working conditions then that has to be taken on board, to improve the safety of all Londoners.”

Key issues that Unite believes need to be tackled to reduce bus workers fatigue include:

  • Improved scheduling and sensible shift patterns.
  • Ensuring enough recovery time between shifts.
  • Tackling low pay, which creates a long-hours culture.
  • Shorter and more balanced work periods.
  • Decent rest and welfare facilities.

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