Monday, 17 March 2008

Ken: No new bendy bus routes

Ken Livingstone has declared there are no plans to convert further routes to bendy buses. As Boris Johnson supports scrapping them completely, regardless of who wins, London's traditional long boarding times and slow journeys have been saved for future generations / London has been spared further soulless road-hogging fire-breathing death traps. (delete as applicable)


gmralston said...

I agree with Boris on this one, never really saw the point of bendy buses myself and they do hog the road.

Trances said...

How about the fact you do have 3 entry/exit points on the bus ?

Will said...

All the bendy buses I've been on have been on routes so busy that closser to tram than bus capacities have been needed. They tend to run on wider and straighter roads too. Do not understand why they are bashed so much.

Pedantic of Purley said...

So the question is what will be used for East London Transit and Greenwich Waterfront - assuming these happen.

I see the TfL East London Transit web page shows a picture of a conventional double-decker.

Of course they could always re-assign their existing bendy-buses to these schemes.

Andrew said...

The problem with bendy buses is that there are never seats on them. Whether you're catching, say, the #73 bus at 9am on a weekday, 9pm on a weekday, a weekend afternoon or any other time, your odds of getting a seat are slim unless you're going from right near the end of the route. This probably has something to do with it being the fabled "free bus", and attracting people who wouldn't otherwise pay for a ticket.

Peter said...

Bendy buses are excellent: high capacity; quick at busstops; and frequent. The people who complain about them are car-driving Standard readers who wax nostalgic about Routemasters, but never caught one in their joyless lives. Apparently some of them are going to vote Johnson, lord help us.

Anonymous said...

yer, I dont think theres anything wrong with them n i get the 12 every day, it always feel much more spacious than double deckers. And i dont think They wouldnt be using them in literally every city in europe if they were as bad as the standard says. Even if they havnt been a complete success scrapping them and replacing them with sum tacky expencive and cartoon 'rootmaster' would be a joke. far better things to spend tfls budget on...

Nancy said...

I take the 29 a few times a week and can't imagine how bad loading times would be with a traditional routemaster type of bus. These buses realy are needed on a lot of lines.I also think they are comfortable.

kenromford said...


Nooo! Never the #73. It's the No.73. We are not the 51st state yet!

James said...

Would always prefer to stand on a bendy No.25 than be left at the side of the road by a 'full' No.8.

Resricted to straight routes, they're great.

Anonymous said...

i have alot of respect for livingstone, but i kinda feel that maybe hes just bowing to media pressure rather than making a proper desision on this... i could be wrong but yer, hes probly getting quite scared with boris scooting away in the poles...come to think of it im scared, that 40% of london could vote for that incompitant twit!

Alan said...

What about the cyclists that they squash and the mega jams they cause in Oxford St?

Anonymous said...

i dont think traffic jams on oxford street can be blamed completely on bendy-busses but yer i was almost forced into a bollard on camberwell green the other week n me bike. However I think there must be other ways of making them more cycle friendly than scrapping a fleet of completely new buses. cyclists and bendy-busses get on just fine in paris and i dont see why they couldn't here. and what's more from the passenger experience there nice to travel on. i think they have alot of unjustified bad press whipped up by boris and the standard! honestly scrapping them would be the biggest waste of money ever and there are so many more important and pressing issues facing london. and he's going to replace them with a bus that hasn't even been prototyped yet! my arse!

bloke on the 29 said...

I've been using them more lately and am starting to warm to them. I can certainly see the point about DDs not having the capacity.

They are rather badly driven, though.

Agree with the points about bonkers Boris. is this city really going to elect that loon? If so we deserve all we are going to get :(

gmralston said...

Anyone can see it is just a cheap election stunt by Boris, I would not vote for him myself, I just prefer double deckers thats all. Yes the bendy buses do have their advantages. London transport on a whole is improving under Ken.

James said...

Bendy buses are great. I know this because I use them. I was so annoyed by Boris's posturing on the subject that I emailed his policy people to ask them why Boris is talking such rubbish. To their credit they did respond once.

Myself to Boris (well one of his policy people.)

I cannot believe what utter rubbish Boris is spouting about Bendy Busses. I use them regularly so I know how much better they are than double deckers. I can only conclude the good man has never been on a bendy bus and his policy is an expensive headline grabber (The rest of the transport policy is not much better).
Unfortunately this has lost my vote even though that makes it more likely we will be stuck with 4 more years of evil Ken.


Their reply:

Many thanks for your email. I am sorry that you disapprove of Boris' policy on bendy buses. Just to clarify, Boris opposes bendy buses because they lose twice as much revenue as other buses, and have twice as many collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.

If there is anything else you would like to raise with us, please do not hesitate to get back in touch. It is vital that we hear from Londoners on issues which matter to them

And my reply was:

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

I have read that reasoning before and I have to say I am not impressed by it. Just for the record I will explain why:

I can see how its easy to avoid paying on a bendy bus, but as they carry a lot more a passengers so you would expect them to lose more money. I suspect the amount the is minuscule comparison to the London bus budget. Its pointless to remove bendy buses and buy more double deckers (at huge initial and running cost) to save pennies on fair evasion! If revenue is such a big issue then why not add more conductors to the bendy bus routes. Boris wants to bring back Routemasters and conductors, but why not just add the conductors to bendys and save the money on a load of unnecessary new buses? Most people have monthly or weekly Oyster Cards so cannot evade the fair anyway.

To replace a single bendy would require two double decks so you would have the same number of accidents. Double deckers are significantly slower to disgorge their passengers so they wait a bus stops a lot (3 or 4 times) longer then a bendy. I think that doubling the number of buses and tripling the waiting time at a stop would result in gridlock on busy routes during rush hour (which is where bendy buses are used). The resulting traffic chaos would result is significantly more accidents involving cyclists at stops and busy junctions.

Don't get me wrong I'm not a bendy bus loving weirdo, and I want Red Ken kicked into touch as much as you do. But its a shame to see Boris come up with such ill conceived and foolish policies. I expected better.

Anyway thanks for taking the time to reply.

I have not had a reply to that (I expect they have better things to do)

Anonymous said...

well i drive a bendy bus and i tell you most poeple do love them.they are quick and ok we get stuck in traffic buts thats london for you.i think boris is a twat. and ok when and if he wins and he gets rid off them and he goes back to double deckers on my route its very busy and that wont please the poeple on the road side waiting for an other double decker my bus on a good day holds at least 150 poeple a double decker will hold half of that and i tell u this if boris gets rid of the bendys he will have to put at least 500 more double decker to make up for them so i will let u decide mmmmmmmm