Nearly 300 people have been involved in accidents with London buses across two boroughs.

A total of 163 people in Waltham Forest and 131 people in Redbridge were seriously injured, taken to hospital or treated for injuries at the scene of incidents between July 2017 and June 2018.

The figures were released by the union GMB, which represents up to 639,000 members and is now calling for an overhaul of the way the capital’s bus services are run.

A total of eight people were killed across London by buses last year – a figure the union described as “chilling.”

On top of this, 719 people or an average of two people per day were “very seriously injured” by the buses over the same time period.

The bus services, outsourced by Transport for London to private companies on its behalf, have come under fire from GMB, who are calling for decisive action from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to tackle the problem.

In 2016, on the issue of transport fatalities in London Mr Khan said: “The statistics are chilling, and I can assure you that I am not complacent on this issue. It is absolutely unacceptable for anyone to be killed or seriously injured on our transport network.

“We have an extremely long way to go to reach the targets I have set, and we will need a cultural shift to get there. My Vision Zero Action Plan shows how TfL and other organisations in London are starting to create this shift, and I am determined to keep driving this until we see the rapid improvement that is so badly needed.”

Warren Kenny, GMB regional secretary, said: “What is needed is decisive action from the top to change the culture at Transport for London to make the safe operation of buses by the outsourced private for-profit operators the top priority.

“Under the current contracts, punctuality has the highest priority and profit margins are linked to punctuality records. This has to change.

“GMB know that safety culture change in organisations has to come from the very top. Sadiq Khan has to get a grip on the problem he inherited from the past managers who designed the outsourced killing machine that TfL presides over.

“Nothing less than fundamental reform of the bus system’s contract performance incentives to include safety is acceptable.”

Claire Mann, Transport for London’s director of bus operations, said: “As part of the Mayor’s Vision Zero objective, we are taking every action possible to reduce the unacceptably high number of people killed or seriously injured on our streets.

“For buses, this includes introducing better driver training and a range of improvements to the vehicles themselves. This focus will take us towards our aim of reducing to zero the number of people killed in or by a London bus by 2030 or sooner, and for all deaths and serious injuries from road collisions to be eliminated by 2041.”

A spokesman for Redbridge Council said: “The council takes its responsibilities around road safety very seriously which is why we work closely with TfL to ensure the road network is safe for our residents and motorists.

“We are committed to the TfL vision zero target for reducing traffic accidents and our road safety programme reflects this by prioritising measures on roads where we need to reduce the risk to pedestrians and other road users.”