After visiting the library I went on to St George's Hospital in Hornchurch. 23rd June is National Falls Awareness Day (and also my birthday), so the NHS trust are running a campaign to reduce injuries suffered by elderly bus users.
When I chaired the transport committee, we produced reports on bus driving standards which highlighted the risks to older and disabled passengers, so I was very pleased to help to launch this campaign. The leaflet I am holding in the picture advises bus drivers and operators on good practice to prevent injuries.
Most drivers are very professional and considerate but the high turnover of staff means that not everybody keeps abreast of the latest guidelines. Bus drivers can really help by:
Allowing passengers enough time to sit down before pulling off.
Pulling up as close to the kerb as possible.
Avoiding sudden acceleration and braking.
Using ramps when appropriate.
In Havering we have an elderly population so it is also important for operators to allow time in bus schedules for pensioners to board and alight.
The team will be setting up a stall to provide advice in Romford town centre on 23rd June.