Philippine News - 'Bendy Buses' unsafe in London

‘Bendy Buses’ on trial in Manila

Philippine News, Manila – Trial runs of a new articulated bus were carried out by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in Manila yesterday.

The aim was to see if the bus could successfully run in EDSA, the busiest highway in Metro Manila. The new bus route would have proposed stops at Buendia, Ayala-SM Makati, and Taft Avenue.

Migs Sagcal, spokesman for the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), said in an interview that the articulated bus is proposed by MRT-3 and LTFRB to provide passengers with an alternative means of transport during rush hours, rather than queue for the MRT.

“Today’s dry run is to check the bus’ safety and efficiency, especially since it is about twice as long as a regular bus,” Sagcal said. The articulated bus can accommodate up to 150 passengers. He added that the bus design includes provision for standing passengers.

The articulated bus, manufactured in Europe by MAN, measures around 19 meters long, with a design capacity equivalent to three regular buses. It has two sections connected by a central pivoting joint which allows it to bend when turning corners.

In 2011, after a series of fatal accidents with cyclists, similar articulated buses were removed from the streets of London, England, on safety grounds. The ‘Bendy Buses’ as they become known, were unpopular with other road users, as the rear section of the bus could often cut the corner, when turning at road junctions, trapping other vehicles or cyclists on the inside. In extreme cases, the rear of the bus could mount the sidewalk, endangering pedestrians.

At the time, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said, “These writhing whales of the road have swung their hefty rear ends round our corners for the final time. Pedestrians that leapt, cyclists that skidded and drivers that dodged from the path of the (bus) will breathe easier this weekend.”

The LTFRB has yet to decide on making the articulated buses a permanent part of Manila’s public transport network.