The Thick of It

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Boris and bendy buses

Since the GLA's Labour group garnered a pro-bendy bus article in Monday's Evening Standard article, Boris Johnson has remained firm in his desire to get rid of them. I've posted many times about the folly of this and I'm pleased London's Labour assembly members have picked up on this.

BJ has vowed to rid London of bendy buses by 2015 even though his term ends in 2012. BJ is aiming to sign new contracts for new buses running past his term in office. This year I've travelled around Europe a little and have seen the same buses on the streets of Helsinki, Tallin, Hamburg, Berlin and Brussels. In the UK we have them in Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Nottingham.

This whole bus obession is little more than the euqivalent of the vanity projects BJ and his team criticised the previous mayor for. Political Animals provide a great breakdown of these. The Cross River Tram would make a tremendous difference to parts of London like Peckham and Camberwell, which suffer from dreadful transport links at present. The cost of this against the potential costs of a new bus that doesn't yet exist or an airport on an island in the Thames Estuary doesn't compare.

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