- Boris Johnson introduced new fleet of red double-decker Routemasters in 2012
- He described the new buses as a 'stunning piece of automotive architecture'
- Transport for London has spent £350million on 1,000 of the new Routemasters
- But TfL's business plan states: it will 'discontinue purchases' of the buses
Sadiq Khan has dumped the 'Boris bus' because it is too expensive to produce.
Boris Johnson introduced a new fleet of red double-decker Routemasters, in London four years ago, which have folding doors to allow people to get on and off easily.
He described it as a 'stunning piece of automotive architecture' and they were quickly dubbed the 'Boris bus'
They were supposed to use the latest green diesel-electric hybrid technology. In test conditions they produced just half the carbon dioxide of conventional diesel buses. But in practise, many of the batteries failed. These proved too expensive to relace and so much of the fleet ran on pure diesel adding dramatically to the pollution levels, especially in Oxford Street, making it the most polluted street in Europe.
Transport for London spent £350million on 1,000 of the new Routemasters at £350,000 each, while a normal hybrid was about £300,000. Wasting £50million of taxpayers money.
Johnson's Mayor of London successor, Sadiq Khan, said he would stall purchases of the the new fleet to save money and freeze transports fares. Khan has said nothing about the poor green credentials which go with this bus.
TfL's business plan states: 'new capital investment will be reduced significantly as we discontinue purchases of new Routemaster buses'.
The buses were designed by Thomas Heatherwick, who gave it a 'modern Londoon look', before being built by Northern Irish firm Wrightbus.
Asked to comment on the move, a spokesman for Khan said TfL would instead be investing in a new generation of buses that would help to improve air quality.
Editorial Comment :
This whole Boris Bus project was always thwart with problems that came directly from bad design and planning on the part of TfL.
The bus has no air con, with windows that didn't open. Passengers complained of unbearable conditions in summer heat. It came with a back door and rear staircase that proved unsafe and therefore unused most of the time. The proposed conductor's role soon disappeared, with all buses now refusing cash payments for fares
In typical TfL style, it was one cock up after another.....and then the scandal broke that the majority of the buses were being run on just diesel, adding to the horrendous air quality, responsible for many thousands of preventable deaths in London.