What happens to the ‘Boris Bus’ if Boris isn’t Mayor?

Green Party London Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones AM, leader of the Greens on the London Assembly, ponders what will happen to the ‘Boris Bus’ if Johnson loses.

Boris goes on the buses and vents his rage at his underperforming servant: “I’ll get you butler!”

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By Jenny Jones AM, leader of the Green Party on the London Assembly and Green Party Mayoral candidate for 2012

I agree with Boris Johnson’s comments in the Telegraph that the new bus for London is symbolic of his reign as mayor. It has undoubted style, but when the full costs are revealed will London want to keep it?

Boris-on-the-busesAround £10 million spent so far has put two buses on the road with six more promised by the summer.

The development costs of any prototype are going to be expensive and normally don’t really matter much if you plan to build thousands of these vehicles in future years. The manufacturer was selected on the basis they’d make at least 600, bringing the cost down.

Except Boris’s new bus needs an extra member of staff at the back, setting us back £62,000 per bus. If you had 600 buses driving around, that’s £37m a year.

That member of staff can’t even collect fares, meaning it could be little different to the bendy bus when it comes to expensive fare evasion.

Boris Johnson intends to force operators to use this bus, making the contracts more expensive. They won’t be given an option to choose the best bus from the best manufacturer and the best price. So these costs will be carried by Transport for London and that means higher fares.

But is the bus any better? He has tried to persuade greens that it’s a wonderfully clean bus, emitting very few pollutants. Well it’s true that it’s better than most other buses on the market, but at 10% better than existing hybrids is it worth the money?

The real farce is that this £10m could have been used to buy lots of clean hybrid buses, helping the Mayor keep his now-broken promise to make sure all new buses were hybrids by the start of this year. Instead only 56 of the 800 new buses bought in the coming year will be hybrid.

London’s polluted air is the second biggest public health problem after smoking. We need swift action to replace or improve our entire bus and taxi fleets, not a vanity icon.

 


See also:

Boris’s 9-point plan is a bridge to nowhere 5 Mar 2012

Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year 3 Feb 2012

What costs £1.3 million a pop and Boris hopes will get him reelected? 16 Dec 2011

Boris fiddles as London prepares for transport chaos 19 Oct 2011

Exposed: Boris Johnson’s efforts to evade air pollution rules 4 Oct 2011


 

As Mayor I would refuse to waste any more money on this bus and would withdraw the extra subsidy. If operators want it then they can buy it, but I will not impose the extra costs upon them. Instead I will focus upon delivering real improvements to air quality using the best and cleanest buses the market provides. It won’t be fancy, or eye catching – but I know it will work.

 


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73 Responses to “What happens to the ‘Boris Bus’ if Boris isn’t Mayor?”

  1. Anonymous

    Ah right, someone who points out you were wrong, once was a “nutter”. You’re a flake.

  2. Darren Johnson

    New Bus 4 London @greenjennyjones article 600 would cost over £37m per year extra & operators don't want them http://t.co/li5DXWzz

  3. Boris Watch

    New Bus 4 London @greenjennyjones article 600 would cost over £37m per year extra & operators don't want them http://t.co/li5DXWzz

  4. Alex Harrowell

    New Bus 4 London @greenjennyjones article 600 would cost over £37m per year extra & operators don't want them http://t.co/li5DXWzz

  5. Jane Vernon

    New Bus 4 London @greenjennyjones article 600 would cost over £37m per year extra & operators don't want them http://t.co/li5DXWzz

  6. Bob Irving

    As I predicted Boris wants 600 of his vanity buses. Cost is another £37m per year towards higher fares. My article http://t.co/1UphTO71

  7. Benjamin M. A'Lee

    As I predicted Boris wants 600 of his vanity buses. Cost is another £37m per year towards higher fares. My article http://t.co/1UphTO71

  8. Paul Southworth

    As I predicted Boris wants 600 of his vanity buses. Cost is another £37m per year towards higher fares. My article http://t.co/1UphTO71

  9. A. M. Poppy

    As I predicted Boris wants 600 of his vanity buses. Cost is another £37m per year towards higher fares. My article http://t.co/1UphTO71

  10. Anonymous

    i don’t see how everyone in London can “love” Boris’ bus if there’s only two(?) of them trundling around. How many people have actually travelled on them? My understanding is that the particular design may not even be allowed in other countries even if people want to pay extra for another person to staff it, so it may never sell in thousands.

  11. Lena Koskela

    ever wondered why travel in London in so bloody expensive? Well, because of Boris.
    http://t.co/kZmUgC5C

  12. Jenny Jones

    Boris will spend £37m a year just on extra staffing for 600 of the New Bus for London. Read http://t.co/1UphTO71 #sackboris

  13. Boris Watch

    Boris will spend £37m a year just on extra staffing for 600 of the New Bus for London. Read http://t.co/1UphTO71 #sackboris

  14. sarah

    Boris will spend £37m a year just on extra staffing for 600 of the New Bus for London. Read http://t.co/1UphTO71 #sackboris

  15. Jonathan Paige

    Boris will spend £37m a year just on extra staffing for 600 of the New Bus for London. Read http://t.co/1UphTO71 #sackboris

  16. mayoroflondon

    Boris will spend £37m a year just on extra staffing for 600 of the New Bus for London. Read http://t.co/1UphTO71 #sackboris

  17. Caroline Russell

    As I predicted Boris wants 600 of his vanity buses. Cost is another £37m per year towards higher fares. My article http://t.co/1UphTO71

  18. Anne Price

    Boris will spend £37m a year just on extra staffing for 600 of the New Bus for London. Read http://t.co/1UphTO71 #sackboris

  19. Paul Southworth

    Boris will spend £37m a year just on extra staffing for 600 of the New Bus for London. Read http://t.co/1UphTO71 #sackboris

  20. Bakerloo boy

    As I predicted Boris wants 600 of his vanity buses. Cost is another £37m per year towards higher fares. My article http://t.co/1UphTO71

  21. RMT YoungMember

    As I predicted Boris wants 600 of his vanity buses. Cost is another £37m per year towards higher fares. My article http://t.co/1UphTO71

  22. The Green Party

    @AngryLiberal91 James read this http://t.co/i7bArEPp

  23. Adam Shire

    #borisjohnson only 56 of the 800 new buses bought 2012 will be hybrid not 800 as promised #jenny4london #sackboris read http://t.co/yL1SQv7U

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