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Londoners hit out at ‘mistimed’ bus safety alerts

London busesImage copyrightGetty
Image caption A glitch means the new warning, “the bus is about to move”, often sounds after buses pull away from stops

Bus passengers have criticised Transport for London (TfL) over a “mistimed” announcement designed to stop people falling over on board.

The warning, “Please hold on, the bus is about to move”, is supposed to sound just before buses pull away from stops.

But a technical glitch means many warnings sound after the bus has started moving.

Londoners hit out at ‘mistimed’ bus safety alerts
Londoners hit out at ‘mistimed’ bus safety alerts

Some passengers have branded the idea “annoying and useless”, but TfL said it would make journeys safer.

It said about 3,000 people were injured each year by slips, trips and falls on London buses.

TfL said many of these happened “because people have shopping in one hand and phones in the other”.

But it accepted that the new warnings “have not quite got the timing right yet”.

‘Health and safety gone mad’

The alert is currently triggered by a computer that sends out the message after the average amount of time a bus would spend at a bus stop.

So for passengers on buses that spend less time at a stop, the alert does not sound until the bus is moving.

Twitter post by @natewade87: @tfl thanks for reminding me to please hold on the bus is about to move when then bus is already moving after every single bus stop. Image Copyright @natewade87@natewade87

Twitter post by @SamBuddington: What’s with the new @TfL bus announcements ‘please hold on this bus is about to move’ 1. Of course it is- it’s a bus.2. The bus has already moved when it’s ‘announced’.#pointless #failImage Copyright @SamBuddington@SamBuddington

Twitter post by @allensl81: Why do the @TfL buses now announce 'this bus is about to move, please hold on' at every stop... usally about 45 seconds after the bus has left the stop already - it is driving me mad!Image Copyright @allensl81@allensl81

Twitter post by @ReubenArthur: So TFL buses now (repeatedly) announce “please hold on, the bus is about to move”.Ngl, if you get into a bus and aren’t anticipating movement, maybe you deserve to fall.Image Copyright @ReubenArthur@ReubenArthur

Twitter post by @WandsworthEye: Oh God, all @TfL buses now have endless announcements saying “PLEASE HOLD ON, THE BUS IS ABOUT TO MOVE” - always played while the bus is already halfway down the road. #bonkers #healthandsafety gone mad!Image Copyright @WandsworthEye@WandsworthEye

TfL said that if customers did not like the alert scheme, it can be withdrawn, but that the aim is to “make safety even better”.

Many customers have taken to social media to vent their frustration at the mistimed messages.

Nathan Wade, from East Finchley, north London, posted a tongue-in-cheek video on Twitter to highlight the error.

The children’s residential worker, 30, said: “I do have sympathy for people that have been injured on the bus.

“I have seen it before where older people have nearly fallen over because the bus has pulled away too quickly.

“However, I don’t think telling passengers to ‘Please hold on, the bus is about to move’ is going to help with that, even if the timing issue could be resolved.”

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