Nearly 500 accidents on Lothian buses in one year


A BUS company’s passengers became trapped in closing doors on 43 occasions, amid almost 500 accidents which were reported over the last year.

New figures from Lothian Buses, Edinburgh’s largest bus company, also show 85 people were hurt after falling while getting on or off the vehicles.

The firm, which is majority owned by the city council, revealed it has set aside £131,206 to deal with compensation claims made by passengers who say they have been injured on one of their buses.

There were 49 injuries on stairways, and 175 on the lower decks of buses, compared to 10 injuries recorded on buses’ upper decks.


The incidents all took place between November 1, 2011 and October 31 2012, with 499 accidents and incidents reported altogether.

An average of 414 cases of people being hurt while inside a bus were reported, with 137 incidents of “sharp breaking” recorded.

There were 49 injuries on stairways, and 175 on the lower decks of buses, compared to 10 injuries recorded on buses’ upper decks.

In the total number of accidents and injuries, 347 involved females, 171 involved males and in seven cases the gender was not recorded.

Lothian Buses stressed the figures represented a tiny percent of the firm’s total passengers.

Commercial projects officer Stevie Chambers said: “With an operation which last year carried well over a hundred million passengers and which in round terms has 700 vehicles and 1500 drivers who operate a total of more than 20 million miles each year, most of which is in Edinburgh’s busy streets, sadly but inevitably there are bound to be a number of accidents.

“While we are never complacent, it is somewhat gratifying that the number of incidents are as low as they are – accounting for as little as approximately 0.0005 per cent of all those who travelled with us over the period.”

He continued: “As long as our drivers drive to a very high standard, and we make every effort to ensure that they do, that can be a more cost-effective option for our business.

“Some claims are not paid in the year in which they are made and so the provision we make must take account of such possible future liabilities which ultimately may not materialise.”

The company, which is majority owned by Edinburgh council, has set aside £131,206 of internal money for liabilities.

The city council’s transport leader, Lesley Hinds, said: “While every one of these 500 accidents is something to be concerned about, I feel assured that Lothian Buses has an excellent training programme when it comes to safety.

“You only have to witness when an elderly person gets on board just how cautious the drivers are. Every individual accident is going to have a story behind it.”

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “RoSPA would urge bus drivers to take care when moving away from a bus stop, especially when they have got vulnerable passengers on board who are not as sure-footed, such as the elderly and parents with young children.

“If drivers try to wait until people have sat down before pulling out, it can prevent accidents from taking place.”