London’s passenger watchdog has questioned the axing of the bendy bus from London’s streets, saying there was no “credible reason” for the decision which is suggests fails to represent value for money.
London TravelWatch’s intervention comes on the day Boris Johnson hailed to demise of the bus on route 507 which runs between Waterloo and Victoria. From tomorrow, Saturday 25 July, the articulated buses will be replaced with single deck, 12m buses.
To maintain capacity Transport for London are having to reduce the period between buses and run more vehicles on the route.
Questioning the scrapping of the bus, which was a key manifesto commitment by Boris Johnson, London TravelWatch Chair Sharon Grant said: “We have yet to hear a credible reason for scrapping bendy buses, and we are unaware of any evidence that supports it. We do not believe it represents value for money for London’s travelling public, especially at a time when Transport for London (TfL) is short of funds.”
Grant added: “We are still concerned about capacity on the replacement buses, as well as load and dwell times at stops. We will also be keeping a close eye on the potential congestion caused by the extra buses on roads and at bus stops.”
The Mayor has instructed TfL to begin negotiations with bus operators to remove bendy buses from other routes before the end of 2011. Speaking on Friday morning, Johnson said: “Bendy buses on other routes are on borrowed time and I can confirm they will all have gone by 2011”.