Bus driver petition taken to full council meeting – will much happen?
This weeks full Greenwich council meeting will see a petition handed in from 84 bus drivers operating TfL buses complaining of lax parking enforcement preventing safe operation of buses.
The main area of contention is by Plumstead station with drivers now threatening not to stop in the area unless action taken.
In the past week alone two accidents have occurred. A third – where a person was hit in the area – is not yet confirmed as being related to poor parking.
Greenwich Council have stepped up patrols but as a Freedom of Information request revealed, there has been no net increase in staff over the past year and less employed now than for much of the past eight years.
Without more staff the problem will be hard to solve, as it’s far from the only area with chronic issues.
At the last full council meeting Cllr Jackie Smith claimed the authority had tried to hire staff but failed on two occasions recently. The Freedom of Information contradicts that by stating four staff were hired in April 2018 yet are still not qualified though are included in figures of staff employed. Four other staff have left hence no net increase.
UPDATE: In an answer to a question at tonight’s meeting Cllr Jackie Smith has stated eight agency staff will be employed – an increase of four from what was said at the last meeting.
But does the Department have the correct information this time? It’s been chronically underperforming and disorganised for many years. Despite this, little action has been taken to arrest a £10 million budget hole – until now perhaps after bus drivers set out their complaints. But did it really have to get to this stage?