Media management of bus incidents
The Press Office is usually informed of incidents involving buses by CentreComm,
either via email or phone call.
Further information can be gleaned from the Duty Manager at CentreComm (Dial
– then selection Option 3).
If the incident is of a more serious nature CentreComm will provide you with the
contact details for the relevant Area Manager or Incident Response Manager.
Occasionally we are informed of incidents by bus operators. Writing statements
Statements on most bus incidents must follow the format below – the wording
intentionally does not attribute blame to any party.
There may be exceptions to this rule – for example the case of the Network Rail lorry
carrying rails that pushed a bus over – however we need to be completely sure of
the circumstances of the incident before we depart from the statement below.
In some cases the bus operator will also prepare a statement on an incident.
Attempts should be made to contact the comms person from the bus operating
company to exchange statements. A list of bus operators and their comms contacts
are provided at Appendix 1. If you are unable to speak with them on the phone, then
please email the TfL statement to them.
Please note that TfL never comments on injuries sustained in bus collisions – that is
for the Met or LAS – and media should be directed to them (Met 24-hour Press
/ London Ambulance Service
Usually additional information is supplied if there has been disruption to bus services
(or diversions) or other road users (road closures).
Incidents on board buses that involve criminality are usually a matter for the
Metropolitan Police Service to comment on (see Press Bureau number above). The
exception being if a member of staff (bus driver or RPI) is assaulted, in which case
we may want to issue a short factual statement deploring this. Pro forma statement
A Transport for London spokesperson said:
“At [insert time and date] a route [insert route number and vehicle type] bus,
operated by [insert bus operator], was involved in a collision with a [insert
car/pedestrian/cyclist/lorry/building] on [insert location – street name, with post code,
if appropriate add the nearest road junction]. Emergency services attended the
scene [if appropriate]. There will be a full investigation into the incident.”
• The junction of Finchley Road and Childs Way was closed, it reopened at
• The road was closed for x hours and during this time route x and x buses
were on diversion via Long Road.
If the incident is of a relatively minor nature a short factual statement can be drafted
using information from CentreComm and then cleared by the On Call Chief Press
Officer or Director of News.
Statements on more serious incidents (persons killed or injured or something that is
particularly visual to the public) need to be cleared by Mike Weston (Operations
Director – Surface Transport
or if he is not available with Ken
Davidson (Head of Bus Operations
In the case of more serious incidents, the Mayor’s Press Office will also need to be
informed. Background information and the cleared statement should be sent to
the Mayor’s Press Office Duty Press Officer.
Statements should only be cleared with officials if we are asked about the
incident by the media.
Please send information on all out of hours bus incidents to:
Anything involving criminality should also be copied to
BUS COMPANY PRESS OFFICE NUMBERS
London Central /
General / Go-ahead
Transport (CT Plus)