Labour mayoral hopeful Sadiq Khan has promised to suspend all orders for Boris Johnson’s “flagship” New Routemaster bus if he’s elected next year.
The diesel-electric hybrid bus is more expensive than alternative models and has been plagued by battery problems, forcing some to run continuously on their more polluting diesel engines and minimising their claimed environmental benefits.
In addition, each summer since they entered service in 2012 has seen widespread complaints about the “uncomfortable” internal temperatures caused by the lack of opening windows.
After more than three years of attempting to downplay the “extreme” discomfort endured by passengers, Transport for London finally u-turned on Friday and confirmed that the current air-cooling system would be scrapped and opening windows retrofitted at a cost of more than £2m.
Mr Khan described the cost of remedying the design fault as “the latest scandal with Boris’s vanity bus project.”
He added: “They’ve ended up costing way more than expected, they’ve not been anywhere near as good for the environment as we were promised and now their oven-like heat is having to be sorted.
“All in all, it’s been a fiasco and if I become Mayor I’ll have a moratorium on buying any more of these buses until I can be sure that London taxpayers are getting proper value for money”