Ken Livingstone has accused Conservative rival Boris Johnson of massively underestimating the cost of reintroducing conductors to the capital’s buses.
Speaking on BBC London radio today Mr Johnson said: “It’s absolutely true that if you are going to bring back a Routemaster, or have a new Routemaster, you would need a conductor with them. I have looked at the expense of that. It would cost £8million to have conductors on each of these buses per year”
Mr Livingstone’s campaign have dismissed the figures as “rubbish” claiming the real cost of re-introducing such conductors would be £108 million a year.
A spokesman for the campaign said each conductor “would cost around £40,000 a year once salary and add on costs such as national insurance, pension, recruitment, uniforms etc was taken into account. £8 million would therefore only pay for about 200 conductors.”
In a statement released tonight Mr Livingstone said: “If Boris Johnson can’t even tell whether a policy costs £8 million a year or £108 million a year this shows he is completely unable to run London’s transport system.”
“Boris Johnson should withdraw his claim that it would only cost £8 million a year to reintroduce conductors on London’s buses as it is completely false. He must admit that it would cost well over £100 million a year and involve huge bus fare increases.”