Friday, 31 July 2009

Passengers call for Boris to bring back bendy buses

Passengers have demanded the return of the bendy bus just one week after Boris Johnson took them away.

According to the London Paper:

"COMMUTERS on the first route to get rid of the controversial bendy buses today declared: "Bring them back."

Passengers on the 507 complained that the single-decker replacements were overcrowded and failed to provide enough seating.

One told of chaotic scenes when around 100 people crammed on to a Waterloo to Victoria bus during rush-hour.

Well I hate to say we told you so but...

Another, Andrew Cooper, 39, of Westminster, said: "There are hardly any seats. I’m not sure why they got rid of the bendy."

Because of the bizarre vendetta of a man who never uses them?

Maureen Pullen, 48, of Winchester, said: "The bendy buses’ three doors allowed people to board much faster and brought down journey times."

Sine Msomi, 26, from Dulwich, said: "The bendy buses were a great way of getting around." And Agnes Macharia, 32, of Peckham, said she was "sad to see them go".

So much for them being "much loathed" Boris

A Transport for London spokesman said: "We have increased the frequency of buses to ensure we can carry as many as possible."

So you have increased the frequency and cost of the route, whilst *still* reducing the amount of people you can fit onto the buses.

That's quite an achievement. Why did you do it?

Mayor Boris Johnson campaigned to remove the 18-metre long bendy buses, pictured above, amid claims they put cyclists’ and pedestrians’ lives in danger.

Ah yes those 'claims'. During the election campaign Boris claimed that:

"They wipe out cyclists, there are many cyclists killed every year by them."

Except no cyclists have been killed by a bendy bus in London. At any point. Ever.

So that's £12 million extra cost, in order to carry fewer people, just to please a man who never uses them.

Congratulations Boris. This is the single most stupid decision you've made so far.


frejus track said...

Adam that's more like it!

Anonymous said...

Boris now changes his mind and u-turns so much now that we have a created a medical name for his condition - Hes BO-Polar.

Anonymous said...

As a cyclist I feel fairly certain that I am at less risk from a bendy-bus than I am from having a pint or two of best bitter.

Not to mention motor-cycles in bus lanes and HGVs.


Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Oh good, I hope they don't make the 29 go back to being a single decker, they'll be blood in Wood Green...

Political Animal said...

It's almost toe-curling to watch this policy unravel in slow motion, just as anyone with had thought about transport policy for half a second would have predicted. Actually, scrap that, make that anyone who has ever used a Red Arrow route in the peak.

Boris has got one thing right from a presentational persepective, however, which was to de-bendify the 507 at the start of the school holidays, so the route's passengers won't have seen the worst yet. I always forget just how much difference the holidays make, until I get a seat on the train home every day from mid-July to early September. With the 521 changing over at the August bank holiday weekend, Boris will get a week's grace there too, but he could be looking at a critical mass of commuter anger come September. Autumn of discontent at Waterloo, anyone?

Karl said...

It was good timing, but by the time the winter comes, the kids are back in school, the new cyclists have decided to get the bus rather than cycle in the rain, it'll be chaotic and dangerous. Still, its only Zone 1. I've been watching them with interest this week. They're either empty or completely jam packed and I'm hoping that the nick-name 'Boris' Cattle Trucks' will catch on.

eric the fish said...

Presumably, if he'd repeated the nonsense about cyclist deaths after the election, he'd be subject to same disciplinary action as Barnbrook over fictitious deaths.

Nick Ould said...

Actually, bendy buses have been responsible for cyclist deaths. Figures show that many cyclists have died after coming into contact with them at some point in their lives. COINCIDENCE?!?

Maybe this whole bus saga was an elaborate ruse to get more people cycling. Now you pay more for buses, but get worse service. Ergo, cycling now seems more viable.

"Hes BO-Polar."


Anonymous said...

I did wonder, re your other post on the timetabling of debendification, as many as one route a day in 2011, whether knowing this would not be possible or liked if it is deliberate. Try it out on a few routes and when it is decidedly unpopular and impractical then reverse the policy but the pledge will have been fulfilled even if it is subsequently changed. Lets hope they haven't sold too many.

Debendification means more drivers and in NW London the gaps in the bus service has been attributed to insufficient drivers available.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile elsewhere the Mayor has scrapped funding for the South London Line, so depriving areas of overland links to Victoria and London Bridge. Apparently TfL doesn't have the £24 million needed to operate the SLL over 10 years. Spending money replacing new buses is obviously much more important than keeping rail services.

Well done Boris! Isn't running London a wheeze?

AdamB said...

According to TfL nine cyclists lost their lives after collisions with lorries last year alone.

So what's Boris's response to these real 'writhing whales of the road'? Removing the Western extension of the congestion charge (and putting out a video) of course.

frejus track said...

that's right Adam- and the lorry danger is worse with olympic work-boris is irrational ,prejudiced, and a right wing fool-why anyone would expect anything else with his track record is the question.

sarah hart said...

It doesn't seem that Boris has a strategy, except to make sure that users of private transport, even bikes are considered first. All the rhetoric about safety and bike riding is a smoke-screen to decapitalise the stock and then turn round and claim to have made savings.
The fact that in one year buses have deteriorated significantly from all accounts should be of concern.

prj45 said...

I've heard that the main targets of the proposed cycle scheme are bus users.

I'm strongly suspicious that Boris's motivation here is to be able to reduce the amount of "socialistic" buses on the road.

Now this could be a good thing, but I strongly suspect it's more about giving more space to private vehicles such as cars.

AdamB said...

Fares could rise by 11% to pay for new routemasters

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Tom said...

"I've heard that the main targets of the proposed cycle scheme are bus users. "

Considering it's in central London this is highly likely.

On the other hand, a lot of the increase in bus provision was to tide an expanding city over until most Tube lines had a 20-30% capacity boost - a metro beats a bus any day. Actually, so does a tram, but Boris hates them too.

Anonymous said...

I thought I would just point out for me personally the bendy buses feel like a much safer mode of transport too. If it's past dark in the winter I'd rather sit downstairs close to the driver, not always an option on a crowded night bus. At least with a bendy bus everyone can see everyone, it feels much safer.

LIttle Richardjohn said...

What Boris doesn't understand is that people like the Bendy Bus. The design allows them to see people's faces. And most people like that.
He who is tired of the Bendy is tired of life.

Anonymous said...

Before I lose our bendy-bus route here (207) - will there be a concerted effort by the bus drivers and bus company to ensure they no longer run in threes, will stop at each stop instead of the excuse they're running late, and will they bother to stop (the other excuse "the top's full" when you can see clearly it isn't!) there are bendy-buses all over the world - why is it in London we're still arguing about people fare dodging?

They're brilliant buses. Cooler to use in summer and easier to move in them or escape out of in an accident - oh, and no knocking their tops off and people's under bridges. I also feel much safer especially from trouble like upstairs (at the back is worse) and they're cleaner unlike the vandalism, left food and chewing gum on back row seats, too. Trouble makers and dodgy folk are at least in full view of all at all times on a single deck bus.

Re deaths - well, we could add a lot of worse vehicles to that list of culprits...!

Keep them!!!