Bus drivers warned to watch their speed after Kingston to Sutton 213 bus breaks limit in Cheam

Surrey Comet: Police have visited Sutton bus garage Police have visited Sutton bus garage

Bus drivers have been warned to watch their speed after one was spotted lighting up warning signs in Cheam.

The Kingston to Sutton 213 bus was spotted triggering a light-up 30mph warning sign meaning it was breaking the speed limit in Malden Road on January 20.

Surrey Comet: Sutton bus garage

Sutton Bus Garage in Bushey Road

Police have visited the Sutton bus garage, operated by Go Ahead London, to flag up the incident and bosses have promised to speak to drivers about their responsibilities.

A member of the public reported the matter to police after seeing the bus illuminate the sign.

Although the incident indicated the bus was speeding, no formal prosecution can take place as the speed would need to be recorded on a speed gun or camera.

But police have been in touch with the garage to warn bosses of their responsibility.

A spokesman said: "The bus garage has been made aware of this report and the matter has been brought to the attention of the driver.

"Our safer transport team is now working with the bus garage for them to advise their drivers accordingly."

The bus in question is operated by London General, a subsidiary of Go-Ahead London.

A Go Ahead spokesman confirmed a police sergeant visited the Sutton bus garage in Bushey Road on Tuesday.

He added: "He spoke to a member of management about the speed of the bus in question.

"We will make the drivers aware of the incident by the normal means of posting notices just to remind them of the need to watch their speed in residential areas."

The incident has also been flagged up to Sutton councillors who will also be monitoring drivers' behaviour.

Coun Mary Burstow said: "The message could not be clearer - If you spot a speeding bus or lorry, take down the time of day, bus registration and bus number."

Coun Tony Shields also encouraged people to contact the police if they see a bus breaking the speed limit.

If you see a speeding bus you can contact police on 101.

Comments (12)

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10:50am Wed 12 Feb 14

SteveC1964 says...

Buses make up what percentage of traffic? What are the police doing about the millions of vehicles speeding in 20 and 30 mph limits, outside schools, in town centres? Nothing that they publicise or that I've seen. Ride your bike on an empty footway and they'll issue you a £50 fine because they have been tasked to do that.
Buses make up what percentage of traffic? What are the police doing about the millions of vehicles speeding in 20 and 30 mph limits, outside schools, in town centres? Nothing that they publicise or that I've seen. Ride your bike on an empty footway and they'll issue you a £50 fine because they have been tasked to do that. SteveC1964
  • Score: 11

11:13am Wed 12 Feb 14

Sutton53 says...

Benhill Avenue has a 20mph speed-limit which does not appear to be enforced. The speed of the buses racing back to the bus-garage is well over 30mph It isn't just the buses it is most vehicles using Benhill Avenue.
Benhill Avenue has a 20mph speed-limit which does not appear to be enforced. The speed of the buses racing back to the bus-garage is well over 30mph It isn't just the buses it is most vehicles using Benhill Avenue. Sutton53
  • Score: -3

1:00pm Wed 12 Feb 14

PeterM says...

I find this whole story rather shocking, not because a bus was seen breaking the speed limit, but because the Police are taking the word of a member of the Public with no other evidence, e.g. witnesses or video footage, to back it up. They have then taken time out to go along to garage and speak with the manager.

I reported a car driver using their mobile phone at the wheel of their car, and not properly holding onto the steering wheel. I recorded it in full 1080HD and passed the footage to the Met Police RoadSafe team.

They advised that they would not be contacting the driver about this incident. They also said that using a hand held mobile phone at the wheel "is not dangerous" and that using a mobile phone whilst driving "was a minor offence". And finally they said that before a driver could be prosecuted for not being in full control of a vehicle they would have to lose control first. So effectively they were saying that you could be hands free on the steering wheel and as long as you didn't veer off to the left or right, you would be in full control of your car.

I approve of the local Police visiting the bus garage, but find it strange that they consider this more important than a driver using their mobile phone and not holding onto the steering wheel properly.
I find this whole story rather shocking, not because a bus was seen breaking the speed limit, but because the Police are taking the word of a member of the Public with no other evidence, e.g. witnesses or video footage, to back it up. They have then taken time out to go along to garage and speak with the manager. I reported a car driver using their mobile phone at the wheel of their car, and not properly holding onto the steering wheel. I recorded it in full 1080HD and passed the footage to the Met Police RoadSafe team. They advised that they would not be contacting the driver about this incident. They also said that using a hand held mobile phone at the wheel "is not dangerous" and that using a mobile phone whilst driving "was a minor offence". And finally they said that before a driver could be prosecuted for not being in full control of a vehicle they would have to lose control first. So effectively they were saying that you could be hands free on the steering wheel and as long as you didn't veer off to the left or right, you would be in full control of your car. I approve of the local Police visiting the bus garage, but find it strange that they consider this more important than a driver using their mobile phone and not holding onto the steering wheel properly. PeterM
  • Score: 26

1:19pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Ivamac says...

These signs have adjustable thresholds, usually between 20 and 140 kph (not you'll note mph thanks to our European masters)and accurate to 3%. They are quite often set low either by accident or on purpose a there is no legal requirement for them to be set correctly. Ref. Department of Transport TAL 1/03 and TRL PPR 314 (for TFL)
20MPH limits are difficult to enforce as the minimum speed requirement for the calibration of vehicle speedometers is 40kph (24.85mph)
These signs have adjustable thresholds, usually between 20 and 140 kph (not you'll note mph thanks to our European masters)and accurate to 3%. They are quite often set low either by accident or on purpose a there is no legal requirement for them to be set correctly. Ref. Department of Transport TAL 1/03 and TRL PPR 314 (for TFL) 20MPH limits are difficult to enforce as the minimum speed requirement for the calibration of vehicle speedometers is 40kph (24.85mph) Ivamac
  • Score: 3

1:48pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Hove Ex-Pat says...

The schedules on many routes operated by this company almost encourage such activity, especially in the evenings, after the peak is over. I know of one route where the time for a single journey drops from 50 minutes to 31 minutes.
No amount of pleading from drivers or union officials could get the times changed. But if drivers run too late or lose too much mileage, they face sanctions by their line managers. It is all done to cut costs. Give the drivers more realistic times & they will need more buses, & thus more drivers, on the route concerned. Many, but not all, companies do this.
The schedules on many routes operated by this company almost encourage such activity, especially in the evenings, after the peak is over. I know of one route where the time for a single journey drops from 50 minutes to 31 minutes. No amount of pleading from drivers or union officials could get the times changed. But if drivers run too late or lose too much mileage, they face sanctions by their line managers. It is all done to cut costs. Give the drivers more realistic times & they will need more buses, & thus more drivers, on the route concerned. Many, but not all, companies do this. Hove Ex-Pat
  • Score: 15

6:28pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Joe222 says...

I have found these signs to vary wildly in their reaction to vehicle speed. On one occasion it flashes when my car read a steady 28 mph ( 30 limit), while the same sign has ignored my car at 32 mph. If accelerating on the approach to these signs, such as when pulling out of a side road, they appear to react to the change in speed of the vehicle and flash their warnings. The look on two police officers faces was a picture - sadly they could not see my speedometer- at least they didn't trot round my house (how wise).
I have found these signs to vary wildly in their reaction to vehicle speed. On one occasion it flashes when my car read a steady 28 mph ( 30 limit), while the same sign has ignored my car at 32 mph. If accelerating on the approach to these signs, such as when pulling out of a side road, they appear to react to the change in speed of the vehicle and flash their warnings. The look on two police officers faces was a picture - sadly they could not see my speedometer- at least they didn't trot round my house (how wise). Joe222
  • Score: 4

8:35pm Wed 12 Feb 14

Ricademus says...

I find this absolutely ridiculous. A bus could be travelling along the road and the speedo could be registered at 30mph yet these signs will still flash. I used to drive buses and several times the speedo WAS NOT working, we were always told that we were allowed to continue our work as long as the defect was fixed within 24 hours, so you can drive a vehicle without a speedo and use your judgement whether that vehicle was doing 30 mph or not. How many people can actually judge 30mph? Apparently this is ok under the law. I had many arguments with managers about this problem.
King Charles road in Surbiton is a 20mph zone and has been for a few years now and yet cars and other vehicles including the emergency services do well over the limit but nothing is ever done and it has the same flashing signs along the road.
I find this absolutely ridiculous. A bus could be travelling along the road and the speedo could be registered at 30mph yet these signs will still flash. I used to drive buses and several times the speedo WAS NOT working, we were always told that we were allowed to continue our work as long as the defect was fixed within 24 hours, so you can drive a vehicle without a speedo and use your judgement whether that vehicle was doing 30 mph or not. How many people can actually judge 30mph? Apparently this is ok under the law. I had many arguments with managers about this problem. King Charles road in Surbiton is a 20mph zone and has been for a few years now and yet cars and other vehicles including the emergency services do well over the limit but nothing is ever done and it has the same flashing signs along the road. Ricademus
  • Score: 2

2:13pm Thu 13 Feb 14

Beverly RA says...

My Husband and I got the 213 today, it was like being on a roller coster , sharp braking and poor driving, people were hanging on for dear life.
So much for taking notice of Managers.
My Husband and I got the 213 today, it was like being on a roller coster , sharp braking and poor driving, people were hanging on for dear life. So much for taking notice of Managers. Beverly RA
  • Score: -1

2:23pm Thu 13 Feb 14

jamieonline says...

YOU WANNA BE ON THE NIGHTIME BUSSES FROM KINGSTON. WOAH LOL
YOU WANNA BE ON THE NIGHTIME BUSSES FROM KINGSTON. WOAH LOL jamieonline
  • Score: 5

9:18pm Mon 17 Feb 14

JohnTheEngineer says...

Since all London Buses are tracked in real time by GPS / Radio ( this is how the countdown clocks on bus stops work) it should be possible to mine the resultant data to see which buses are exceeding the speed limit.

Is anyone doing this ???

Buses going southbound across London Bridge are frequently exceeding the speed limit and being overtaken by cars & motorbikes.

If you want to find out how fast a bus is going just take a handheld GPS with you - it gives a reasonably accurate speed.
Since all London Buses are tracked in real time by GPS / Radio ( this is how the countdown clocks on bus stops work) it should be possible to mine the resultant data to see which buses are exceeding the speed limit. Is anyone doing this ??? Buses going southbound across London Bridge are frequently exceeding the speed limit and being overtaken by cars & motorbikes. If you want to find out how fast a bus is going just take a handheld GPS with you - it gives a reasonably accurate speed. JohnTheEngineer
  • Score: 1

9:50pm Mon 17 Feb 14

MF1959 says...

As a Driver myself many times those signs are very inaccurate.. one a little way back on cheam common road flashes the 30 limit slow down as low as 10mph.. so dont believe the vehicle is speeding, it may just be the sign is set inaccurately. and that particular sign in question used to flash 05 as the speed.. and did that for a long time.
As a Driver myself many times those signs are very inaccurate.. one a little way back on cheam common road flashes the 30 limit slow down as low as 10mph.. so dont believe the vehicle is speeding, it may just be the sign is set inaccurately. and that particular sign in question used to flash 05 as the speed.. and did that for a long time. MF1959
  • Score: 3

1:59pm Tue 18 Feb 14

routemaster11 says...

I am a bus driver and work at the garage that operates the 213, I drive it myself on occasions. As previous posters have already stated, sometimes the accuracy of these signs is questionable. I have driven past the sign in question and activated whilst driving well within the limit for the road. There is an identical sign on Wimbledon Common Parkside (on the 93 route which I drive more frequently) which seems to activate to every vehicle that approaches, regardless of it's speed. I suggest that before the police act upon any complaints from the public with regards to something like this that they take the time to check and monitor the performance of the sign in question before taking any further action.
I am a bus driver and work at the garage that operates the 213, I drive it myself on occasions. As previous posters have already stated, sometimes the accuracy of these signs is questionable. I have driven past the sign in question and activated whilst driving well within the limit for the road. There is an identical sign on Wimbledon Common Parkside (on the 93 route which I drive more frequently) which seems to activate to every vehicle that approaches, regardless of it's speed. I suggest that before the police act upon any complaints from the public with regards to something like this that they take the time to check and monitor the performance of the sign in question before taking any further action. routemaster11
  • Score: 2

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