London buses are involved in two collisions with cyclists or pedestrians every day, according to Transport for London.
Politicians described the figure as “shockingly high” but were attacked by transport chiefs who insisted cycle and pedestrian safety had improved.
London Assembly Tories quoted TfL statistics which showed there were 145,533 bus accidents in the past six years. Pedestrians were hit in 3,591 cases and cyclists in 1,219.
An average 1.6 bus-pedestrian collisions happened every day, with a bus-cyclist collision every other day, at a combined average of more than 15 a week. Tory Assembly member Roger Evans said: “We need reassurances on how police can work with TfL to ensure their drivers are operating safely.”
However, Mike Weston, operations director of London buses, insisted there was a downward trend in such collisions. “These figures need to be taken in the context of the huge scale of London’s bus network — 8,500 buses and six million journeys a day,” he said.
“The proportion of bus collisions is actually very small and falling... buses were involved with just five per cent of the most serious collisions on London’s roads over the last few years.” TfL said collisions with pedestrians and cyclist dropped 40 and 50 per cent respectively between 2007/08 and 2011/12, although how they calculate the figures partly explained the fall.
Mr Weston added: “There is no room for complacency, and the Mayor and Transport for London are working with pedestrian, cycling and safety stake holders to develop both a pedestrian safety action plan and a huge range of initiatives to further improve cycle safety.”
TfL said London’s bus drivers have the highest standards of training anywhere in Britain.
'Nothing has been learned since my daughter lost her leg'
The mother of a girl who lost her leg when she was hit by a bus said today she was “appalled” by the accident figures.
The driver, Ismail Ahmed, 43, of Southall, was jailed for four years for causing death by dangerous driving. Pollyanna, now eight, ran with the Paralympic torch last summer. “The figures are appalling,” her mother, Sarah Hope, said.
“It means that after what happened to us, nothing has been learnt. The accident has had a massive impact on all our lives. When a tragedy occurs it changes a lot of things immeasurably and you have to stay positive.
“I think it is very important to change things, and if there is anything I can do to help, then I would like to know.
Mrs Hope has set up a charity to fund prosthetic limbs for child amputees in Africa.