Friday, 5 December 2008

Boris Johnson takes us for a ride on the 'free bus'

Boris Johnson on bringing an end to bendy 'free buses':

"Open boarding means [bendy buses] have become known as 'free buses', and the facts show they lose almost three times as much fare revenue as other types of bus."

Okay, so what are you going to do about it Boris?

So the bendy free bus is dead then. Oh well. Long live the non-bendy free bus...


Anonymous said...

The whole basis of Boris' anti-bendy bus campaign has been destroyed. They don't kill cyclists, they're less expensive than the alternative and scrapping them is going to reduce the capacity. What a con!

Mark Lee said...

Over on Boris Watch, there's some fantastic analysis of the figures that we do have (pollution, accident rates, etc) that show how few benefits this provides us with. Statistically we need to expect more accidents and more CO2.

To be fair to BJ though, statistically the 521 or 507 always had lower fare evasion than double deckers, so were not really "free buses" - although that argument could perhaps be more justifiable for other bendy routes.

Can't wait till the cost emerges.

Tom said...

Thanks, Mark - it's impossible to do a full analysis without the TfL figures though, which is why Adam and I have both contacted the Mayor's press people. I'll let you know if we get a response other than 'sod off, nerdy'.

The basis of the campaign was always this neurotic right-wing obsession with 'Europeanising' London, as Alex Harrowell has pointed out. The cyclist squishing stuff etc. was always the spin to sell it to the punters, and wasn't meant to be examined (and in any case, it's too late, it's served its purpose).

I presume we were just meant to sit there like lemmings believing everything Gilligan told us, and then dutifully cheer and wave little flags as Boris rides past on his Routemaster. Well, bugger that for a game of soldiers.

prj45 said...

12 metre single decks a?

That's, what, three metres longer than the front part of a bendy? I presume the wheel base is longer too.

That'll mean their LESS maneuverable than a bendy then, and when they go around corners they'll cut across them more, that's BAD for cyclists.

And there'll be more vehicles.

And single decks are more often than not driven like rally cars.

Seriously, what a plank Boris is. I'd be really interested to see the crash rates after a year or so of single deck operation.

Tom said...

I think I looked this up and it's more or less the same - assuming a Mercedes Citaro 12m bus, the wheelbase is 5845, the front overhang is 2705.

Bendy Citaro G is the same wheelbase at the front, slightly longer at the back with a 1.8m wider turning circle. The 12m does have a 3.4m overhang at the back, which I reckon is about the same. It's the more vehicles thing that makes them more dangerous regardless. They are still going to cut across quite substantially though.