Transport for London says trials of Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA) technology fitted to buses proves that the technology can be used to control speeds on London’s bus network.
It’s completed trials – the first in the UK – which form part of the Mayor and TfL’s commitment to halve the number of people killed and seriously injured on London’s roads by 2020. They tested the technology, which prevents vehicles from accelerating over speed limits, on two bus routes that included a variety of road environments and differing speed limits.
All buses fitted with ISA remained within the speed limit 97-99 per cent of the time, with the extremely rare incidents of excess speeds seen on downhill sections of road.
TfL says the trials were particularly effective when travelling through 20mph zones – which are being widely introduced and cover around a quarter of London’s roads – also helping to ensure other vehicles in the area adhered to the limit.
TfL intends to require all new buses from 2017 to have this technology fitted.
Isabel Dedring, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said, “we’re determined to continually advance safety on our bus network and that’s why last month the Mayor launched a world-leading programme specially designed to drive forward major improvements. The use of this cutting-edge technology is just one example of how we are harnessing the latest technology to reduce the number of fatal and serious injuries on London’s roads.”
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL, said, “we’re investigating a range of new technologies that can make our bus network the safest in the world. These trials have proven that speed limiting technology can contribute to safer roads and streets. We’ll now work with manufacturers so that all buses coming off the production line can be fitted with the technology from next year.”
Tom Kearney, a bus crash survivor and founder of the #LondonBusWatch Campaign, said, “Making ISA technology mandatory on its buses was included in TfL’s recently-announced ‘world leading’ Bus Safety Programme. I applaud this action to strengthen the operational safety performance of TfL’s contracted bus fleet and look forward to the Bus Safety Programme’s continued implementation.”
Jeremy Leach, London Co-ordinator for 20’s Plenty for Us Campaign, said, “TfL is taking big steps towards making buses safer. Limiting the speed of buses, and therefore the vehicles that are travelling around them, particularly on all the roads where the boroughs have brought in 20mph limits, will lead to fewer and less serious casualties. This is a sign of real progress in making London’s roads and streets less intimidating places for those who walk and cycle.”
ISA will supplement the work already underway to use the iBus system fitted to all of London’s 9,000 buses to monitor bus speeds and take action to mitigate speeding.