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Revealed: ‘Worrying’ hike in number of people hospitalised after bus crashes in Islington

PUBLISHED: 17:15 22 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:15 22 April 2016

The scene of the crash that killed David Wood in Farringdon last year (Picture: Paul Dawson/@poleydeepics)

The scene of the crash that killed David Wood in Farringdon last year (Picture: Paul Dawson/@poleydeepics)

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Safety campaigners this week called for action over a steep hike in the number of people being hospitalised after bus crashes in Islington.

David WoodDavid Wood

Safety data published quarterly on the Transport for London website show 65 people needed hospital treatment after incidents on or involving buses in the borough in 2015. There were 29 in 2014, an increase of 124 per cent.

Of the injuries in 2015, 33 were serious compared with 11 in 2014.

While in 2014 there were no fatalities in Islington, in 2015 one person died as a result of a collision with a bus.

Meanwhile, across the capital, hospitalisations from bus incidents increased by 22 per cent in 2015 and fatalities by 40 per cent.

Bus safety campaigner Tom Kearney, who was left fighting for his life after being hit by a bus in Oxford Street seven years ago, said he was horrified by the figures.

He said: “Based on TfL’s own numbers, Islington’s numbers are even more horrific with a 200 per cent year on year increase in the number of people taken to hospital from a bus safety incident.”

Green Islington councillor Caroline Russell described the figures as “worrying”. “The most recent figures show a worrying increase in bus collision incidents in Islington and in the numbers of people both seriously and slightly injured in these crashes,” she told the Gazette.

“Looking at one year of data may not set a statistical trend, but Islington residents will be concerned to see so many people hospitalised this year due to incidents with buses.”

But Tony Akers, TfL’s bus chief, said the casualty rate for the capital’s bus network remained “low” with an average 2.6 injuries per million passenger journeys.

“The majority of those injuries are minor,” he added.

He added: “Safety remains our top priority and we have announced a major safety programme, which includes updating bus contracts.

“It should also be noted that the overall trend for collisions involving a bus or coach where someone has been killed or seriously injured has fallen by 48 per cent over the last decade.”

The sole person killed by a bus in Islington last year was 22-year-old City graduate David Wood, who died under the wheels of a double-decker at the junction of Clerkenwell Road and Farringdon Road on August 20. He had been due to start work as a radiographer at St Bart’s.

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