TfL safety report falls short of public transport customer safety scorecard

TfL safety report falls short of public transport customer safety scorecard

A Tube passenger’s head was “crushed” earlier this year when they tried to urinate between two carriages of a moving Piccadilly Line train, a TfL safety report has revealed.

The passenger was not killed but did sustain a “serious injury” according to TfL’s quarterly health and safety report, which details some of the other unfortunate ways in which passengers and staff were injured between April and June this year.

While the majority of incidents occurred on the London Underground, several customers suffered injuries using other modes of transport, including one who sustained a serious injury when their TfL Santander hire bike “collapsed” after the front wheel came off.

Across the Tube network there were eight falls from escalators and eight falls from stairs that resulted in serious injury in the first quarter of 2022/23, including one at Walthamstow Central station where a woman sustained a serious head injury which eventually led to her death.

On the London Overground, a visually impaired passenger suffered a serious injury after falling from the train to the platform, while one serious injury was recorded on the Elizabeth Line when a passenger suffered a “slip, trip or fall” at Paddington station.

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According to the report, TfL did not meet its public transport customer safety scorecard measure in the first quarter of the current financial year, with 2.73 injuries per million journeys, compared to the target of 2.58 injuries per million journeys.

In the report, TfL said: “We continue to strive to improve the safety of our public transport network. We are embarking on a new strategic approach to working in a risk-based way: building a broader understanding of our safety performance; diagnosing and prioritising our top safety concerns; and enabling transport modes and teams to take local action on these concerns.

“In taking this approach, we have initially prioritised common customer safety concerns including slips, trips and falls; passenger/transport interfaces; and road risk.

“First and foremost, we will focus on improving what is within our control. However, we acknowledge that customer incidents will always be influenced by human behaviour.

“Our Customer Experience teams across TfL continue to work hard to identify effective strategies to positively impact customer behaviour on our network.”

In total, there were 43 serious injuries across London’s public transport network between April and June this year, as well as one death. Meanwhile, 263 injuries were recorded among TfL’s workforce, including two serious injuries.

The report notes that, while workforce injuries remain below pre-pandemic levels, certain causes of injury including assault on the London Underground, have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

In the past year, TfL has successfully prosecuted several people for assaults on members of staff, some of which are detailed in the report.

One suspect was sentenced in May 2022 to 60 hours of unpaid work and was forced to pay £100 in compensation after spitting on a member of staff, who obtained a swab sample using a spit retrieval kit which led to a DNA match being made.

Another suspect was charged with two weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months, 180 hours of unpaid work and fined £508 after spitting on staff members, assaulting them, and “pulling them towards the tracks” after she attempted to access the tracks at Moorgate station.

Mandy McGregor, TfL’s Head of Transport Policing and Community Safety, said: “Our staff have the right to do their job without fear or intimidation and we do not tolerate any form of physical or verbal abuse towards our staff or customers. This behaviour towards our staff, who were just trying to do their jobs, is completely unacceptable.”

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