Unite the union has warned that the new sound chosen for London’s electric buses creates dangers for road users and pedestrians as it sounds nothing like a traditional bus.
The sound which is being trailed in January has been described as sounding “like a spaceship”. It is argued that an artificial sound is necessary as electric buses are very quiet and so can potentially cause dangers for blind and partially sighted pedestrians.
Unite were initially consulted last year on some potential sounds for London buses but firmly rejected the one’s suggested as they did not sound like a bus.
No further consultation took place and Unite which represents over 20,000 London bus drivers was not aware that the “spaceship” sound would begin to be trialled this month.
Unite lead officer for London buses John Murphy said: “Unite recognises that it is imperative that the new electric buses make a clearly audible sound for safety reasons. However we believe that the sound chosen is potentially dangerous as it sounds nothing like a bus."
Unite points out that today people are increasingly distracted when walking, due to the use of electronic devices, making it is essential that there is a "clear and obvious sound of a London bus".
“If people hear the spaceship sound they won’t think ‘bus’ and could place themselves unintentionally in danger," continued Murphy.
“Unite is also concerned that drivers have not been widely consulted about the new sound and there are potential concerns about whether they will find it distracting or if it will affect their health," he added.
Unite has written to urge Transport for London to pause the rollout of the new sound, undertake a wider consultation with all stakeholders and agree a sound like a bus.
By Belinda Liversedge on 13 July 2021
Experience has taught us that we can’t guarantee people will behave responsibly to prevent Covid transmission such as by wearing masks, the chair of the British Safety Council has warned.
By Belinda Liversedge on 28 June 2021
More than 60,000 fans will be able to attend the UEFA EURO 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley Stadium following an announcement by the UK government, increasing attendance to 75 per cent of capacity for each game.
By Orchie Bandyopadhyay on 01 July 2021
Eighty-six offshore workers lost their lives after four vessels that state-run oil and gas major Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC) put into service, went adrift in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Mumbai during Cyclone Tauktae on May 17.