Don’t we just love London buses? Travelling by bus daily can be daunting sometimes, perhaps you find the bus stops crowded, or you can’t get an empty seat when the bus arrives. The journey can feel scary if you’re not used to getting around the capital. But whatever the case might be, there are 8 ways to stay safe on London buses.
Some of us travel by bus to get to work, college or school. While others use it to get to the doctor, friends and family, shopping trips, sight-seeing or to get to the other side of the city.
Londoners are quite lucky to have a variety of buses, like the modern version of the routemaster (with a conductor), a one-man double-decker, or a single deck bus.
Travelling on the bus needn’t feel stressful. But learning a few safety tips can help us stay safe:
Children are particularly vulnerable if they are not used to travelling independently. Parents and carers will need to check that they don’t stick their arms and head out of the window. Give them guidelines to follow that will pave the way for future travel. Teach them to stay near other children when waiting for their bus and not to speak to strangers.
2. Travel documents
Pack your Oyster card, travel card, contactless payment card or freedom pass in your bag and leave home in good time. Get to the bus stop 10 minutes early and don’t run for the bus. If you miss your bus wait for the next one. They now display the time on a screen, so you needn’t worry about being late to your destination. Great idea isn’t it?
3. Bus stop
Know your designated bus stop and stand back from the curb. As the bus approaches, remain in the queue but don’t be tempted to walk on to the road. Wait for the bus to stop, and when it’s your turn to board, tap your payment card on the electronic reader then walk to your seat. Remember to hold on to the railings if you decide to go up to the top deck. Take a seat right away but don’t extend your legs or obstruct the gangway.
4. Take a seat
Remain seated throughout your journey if you can but if you feel uncomfortable sitting next to a passenger, get up immediately and sit elsewhere.
5. Eye contact
Avoid eye contact or conversations with passengers who are likely to make you feel threatened or intimidated! Always look as if you know where you’re going to escape being a target!
6. Consider other passengers
Watch out for the blind, guide dogs, pets, the elderly, parents with young children and the disabled! We must show consideration for them. When the bus arrives at your stops, show respect to other passengers by walking slowly to the exit and hold the railings to avoid being pushed from behind by other passengers. Refrain from pushing the doors open as this a safety hazard.
7. Loud music!
By all means listen to music with headphones or earpieces, but remember not to annoy fellow passengers with loud music!
Be mindful of crowds during the rush hours on your way home in the evening. Now that the days are much shorter, make sure you are visible to traffic and other pedestrians during the dark evenings.
In spite of safety concerns, some of us have about travelling on the buses, it is still possible to have a pleasant journey, so don’t despair. London buses are unique and they have an interesting network.