51:32:35 l0:03:22

TGI Paul

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Ode To Ken.... The Revenge of The Routemaster

If you've read this blog before, you'll already know my feelings about the notoriously unwelcome addition of the Bendy Bus to London streets, (See "Ode To Ken").

Well, todays Evening Standard bears the frontpage headline;
"BENDY BUSES COULD BE AXED"

Speaking last night at a Mayors Question Time at the Empire here in Hackney, Ken said "Bendy buses are still on trial(*1). We have only had them for three years, and they may still be withdrawn. On shorter routes they've been effective in carrying more people(*2), but we are still evaluating the effectiveness of them on longer routes."

*1: Blooming expensive trial Ken! These buses cost £200,000 each and you've so far introduced a fleet of about 300!!

*2: They do carry more passengers you're right. However, the routemaster boasted 73 seats, the bendy a paltry 49; the remaining 91 passengers have to stand. Hence the feeling of a cattle truck!

Research by TfL has also shown that fare evasion on the new buses is more than double the older models. I guess the hike in Council Tax is to cover the shortfall in running costs, eh? Even if you want to pay, very often the roadside ticket machines aren't operational, the report showed.

So, after a £60million "trial", that's quite a U-turn Ken!!

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