Inclusive Bus Cab Design

Inclusive Bus Cab Design – National Roadshow

A major new survey is being carried out at bus garages across the country to ensure that bus cab designs are inclusive for all drivers.

Researchers from TRL, working with Transport for London (TfL) and Women in Bus and Coach, will visit a number of sites including in London, Edinburgh, Bristol, Manchester, and Belfast.  They will talk to drivers about the current design of cabs in order to understand what modifications may be required in future design briefs.

The study follows suggestions that traditionally cabs have been designed around an average-sized man, leading to some people being put off choosing bus driving as a career because the cab environment does not physically meet their workplace needs.  With a shortage of bus drivers in the industry, a review into the bus cab design is vital in order to appeal to as many different people as possible to consider bus driving as a career.

“We believe that we need to change the traditional design of buses to welcome more people into bus driving,” explained Kerri Cheek, Founding Director of Women in Bus and Coach and Senior Bus Safety Development Manager at TfL.  “If we can remove barriers to entry in the industry and – just as importantly – communicate that we are working to remove the barriers, we will widen the talent pool in our industry.”

The survey seeks responses from a range of existing drivers across the country, noting their height, age and weight along with gender and ethnicity.  It will ask about a range of features including:

  • Current seating design and anything which enhances or impairs usability.
  • Comfort and fatigue.
  • Ability to move the seat to easily reach controls and view mirrors/monitors.
  • The fabric used on the seat covering to check on cleanliness and what it is like to sit on for long periods of time.
  • Other essential equipment including the siting of seatbelts and their adjustability.
  • Pedal layout and reach.

Respondents will also be asked to put forward any ideas for future designs to make their job easier and more inclusive.

“The responses will help us to understand the strengths and weaknesses of current cab design,” said Tom Cunnington, Head of Buses Business Development at TfL.  “If we understand where there are improvements to be made then through our Bus Safety Standard and vehicle specification, we can guide the development of more inclusive and ergonomic solutions as we work towards achieving Vision Zero for our bus network.”


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