107 year old bus route gets vanity makeover

One of the oldest bus routes in London will be serviced by the new London bus from this Saturday. London wide Assembly Member Murad Qureshi AM is concerned that the Mayor of London Boris Johnson is wasting farepayers’ money on the excessive costs of the new buses when he should be concentrating on improving air quality on Westminster’s most polluted roads.   

Bus route number 11 runs from Liverpool Street Station to Fulham Broadway, via Bank, Mansion House, St Paul’s, Ludgate Circus, Fleet Street, Aldwych, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, Victoria, Sloane Square and Chelsea and has been operating for 107 years.  

Each new London bus cost £50,000 more than a comparable hybrid bus. For all 600 buses this excess will be £30million. Each bus requires a second crew member when its rear platform is in operation, and this has been estimated to add a cost of £62,000 per vehicle per year, or £37million for all 600 buses. 

The new buses have also been beset by design flaws with the buses reaching above 300C during the summer because the “air-cooling” system couldn’t cope and the buses do not have any windows. 

Labour London wide Assembly Member Murad Qureshi AM said:

“Boris has wasted farepayers’ money on this vanity project. He has wasted £30million on buses which are no more environmentally-friendly then the current hybrid buses we have in London. Boris needs to prioritise putting greener buses on the routes with the highest pollution levels and bring forward the Ultra Low Emission Zone. 

“Westminster has a very real problem with poor air quality on all of its main roads. When it comes to London’s exceptionally poor air quality Boris has his head stuck firmly in the sand. 

“Bus fares have gone up by 55% under Boris from 90p to £1.40, hitting Londoners in the pocket. Boris will shortly be deciding on how much to raise fares by in January. After five years of inflation-busting increases he needs to ease the pressure on Londoners and keep it to inflation. If he didn’t waste so much money this would be a lot easier.” 

Ends 

Notes

  1. Murad Qureshi AM is a London wide Assembly Member.
  2. The costs of the new buses and rear platform staff costs can be found here: http://taxileaks.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/tfl-reveals-cost-of-new-bus-for-london.html and here: http://londonist.com/2013/05/new-bus-for-london-cost-revealed.php