London’s contracted bus operators will this month become the first in the UK to subscribe to the independent Confidential Incident Reporting and Analysis System (CIRAS), originally set up for rail industry, in a bid to improve transport safety.
The service offers a confidential hotline for employees to report heath or safety worries rather than using their own employers' internal procedures.
Denying that this amounts to encouraging whistleblowing, CIRAS head, Paul Russell said: 'We provide the opportunity to address a safety or health concern before it becomes an incident, a near-miss or a loss'.
Transport for London's head of bus operations, Ken Davidson, said: 'The bus network is extremely safe but we are always looking for ways to make it even safer.'
Set up after the 1999 Ladbroke Grove train crash, which killed 31 people, the not-for-profit service, already covers Transport for London's Tube and Overground networks.
It is paid for by members' subscriptions, which have fallen by 35% this year as a result of an increase in membership from 200 to 1,600 in the past three years.
Mr Russell is keen to see it extend to coach, lorry and van fleet operators.