Superb responses from Stagecoach and First Bus

I have generally found that the standard of bus driving that I encounter on my daily commute has improved dramatically over the past year or so. Some of this seems to have been after my visit to First Bus’s training depot last October, and I heard a few weeks ago that the people I saw have received a national award for the road safety work they have done leading on from that visit, which I think is well-deserved.

However, things are still, of course, not perfect, and yesterday I posted a video showing two incidences of buses squeezing me into the kerb that happened on my way home on Tuesday. The first was a Stagecoach bus and the second was a First bus, and the video can be seen here:

(As an aside, I made a post that is relevant to this issue some time ago, here.)

I am not really posting this to make a huge issue out of these; they were bad, but not “brown trouser” cases. The reason I am posting is to praise the two companies for their responses. Last night at 9.13pm, I sent this email to Matt Davies at Stagecoach:

Hello,

I wonder whether you would have a word with one of your drivers, who cut me up and forced me into the kerb as I was cycling home from work yesterday. A video clip showing the incident from my perspective may be viewed at the following location:

http://youtu.be/LDMC5bYORgE

Details of the incident are:

Registration: MX09ATK Details:
Date and time: 6th August 2013 at 4.45pm
Location: Broad Street, Salford (Westbound)
Fleet number: 19501
Service number: 50

Thank you in anticipation.

I was pleasantly surprised to get a reply the same evening at 9.56pm saying that he had forwarded the message to the relevant people and  it would be dealt with. This was followed shortly afterwards by another email saying that he had also forwarded it to First.

This morning, at 10.13am, just 13 hours after I had sent my complaint, I received the following email from David Frenz at Stagecoach:

I have been forwarded your correspondence regarding an incident involving
yourself and one of our drivers operating the 50 service on Tuesday 6th
August.

Having watched the video clip you provided, it’s clear that the driver
should have waited for the full length of his vehicle to pass you before
he considered moving in to the bus lane.

Please accept my apologies for the drivers actions and from the
information you’ve provided, we have traced the driver concerned and will
be speaking to him regarding this as a matter of urgency.

We have done a lot of work recently in highlighting good driving behaviour
and the need to consider other road users, particularly cyclists, and its
disappointing that on this occasion, the driver has failed to put this in
to practice. I give you my assurances that the appropriate remedial action
will be taken with this driver.

If I can be of anymore assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Kind Regards

This is truly an excellent response, and I have to commend Stagecoach for their efficiency in dealing with the matter. I also got a further email from Matt apologizing as well.

But there’s more. This afternoon, I received an email from Phil Bainbridge at First:

Just to keep you up to date with your latest post rest assured it will be
dealt with. I have not seen it as I can’t open it on my lap top.

Regards

I hadn’t even made a complaint to First, although Phil does know my Youtube channel from our earlier discussions.

So, one company has dealt with the matter in 13 hours, and the other is dealing with it even before I have made any complaint. Never let it be said that the Bus companies are not trying to address safety issues. Thank you, folks.

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1 Response to Superb responses from Stagecoach and First Bus

  1. Digital image recognition has, for over a decade, been used with CCTV systems in car parks. Parameters on the elements in a screen scan can identify the return visit of an individual, with a very specific digital ‘identity’ and other trigger behaviour – for example standing around in a single location for more than say 10 minutes.

    On the street parameters can be defined to identify the basic ‘profile’ of a pedestrian walking and a cyclist cycling, and perhaps for the external cameras on a bus, any ‘events’ where the sides or ends of the bus get closer than say 1 metre to another moving object at speeds above a threshold of say 10mph. Downloads of the daily footage from CCTV (or preset alerts programmed in to the individual recording units on a bus) could highlight any near-miss details during a day’s driving, and most professional drivers would accept this continuous review of the small errors of judgement which if not recognised and addressed could be a bigger incident one day.

    Employers of professional drivers also recognise that spotting a driver with a weakness in some aspect of their driving, can deliver a targetted action to address a bad habit or remove the really dangerous few from driving work. Often it is a very small percentage of the total workforce where they have to focus the effort, perhaps more effective than a general road safety campaign for all staff.

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