Conservative Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson has revealed plans to trial a new express bus service running across the outer boroughs should he win May’s election.
Mr Johnson claimed that residents to some outer London boroughs were unable to travel into others without first entering central London. According to Mr Johnson’s campaign a journey from Bromley to Sutton covering 11 miles can take up to three interchanges and 2 hours using public transpor
Speaking yesterday Mr johnson said: “It is no secret that South London suffers from unacceptable levels of overcrowding. The current Mayor himself has said that it inadequate. Well rather than sit back and accept it, I intend to stop this grim experience. My first step will be to introduce this bus trial to stop commuters having to go into central London by rail, only to go back out again. Instead they will be able to travel by bus to their destination.”
“Faced with rising fares and no chance of a seat, London’s commuters get a raw deal. No wonder we are not persuaded to get out of our cars – there simply isn’t a better alternative. My proposal will offer the change that Londoners need on transport – as Mayor I will take the action that is needed and get us moving again”.
According to a briefing document the ‘The London Orb’ scheme would “connect key transport hubs in the outer boroughs” but to “keep the service at an optimum speed, they will be limited to two or three stops along each route.”
Fares would be expected to be the same as the standard bus fare and the service would accept Oyster cards.
Mr Johnson has also signaled his support for allowing motorcycles to use bus lanes, citing a recent Transport for London (TfL) which suggested this would cut accidents.
The Johnson campaign said Mayor ken Livingstone has “refused to release the report, and leaked emails show his office has actively tried to interfere with the findings. Not only is this deceiving Londoners with motorcycles, but it is a cynical refusal in an election year to implement a measure that could both cut congestion and save lives.”
Earlier this week a Transport for London spokesperson told MayorWatch: officers had concerns about the validity of some of the early results of the study, which were shared by Greater London Authority officials.”
Johnson’s transport plans were dismissed by Green Party candidate Sian Berry who said: “I’d be surprised if Johnson was a regular bus user, and it show in his bus policies, which appear to amount to ‘drive faster’. His plan to have motorbikes in bus lanes seems calculated to delay buses further and increase congestion.”
Ms Berry said that she would introduce “new one pound, one hour through tickets, letting passengers change buses at no extra cost. That will mean we can have more bus routes and make them shorter to tackle bunching.”