In 2009, he made much of the fact the new replacement for the unsuitable (for London) bendy buses would be a lot cheaper than the £250,000 that the bendies had cost and would be “iconic”, cheaper to run etc etc.
It hasn’t quite worked out like that though as they are coming in at £354,000 and the much heralded cost savings with these eco-vehicles wont be seen yet as the parts i.e. new engines that comply with the new green requirements, will not be fitted for a couple of years and the costs of that have not been factored in either. Full story here
That is not the only problem, as the figures do not count the disposal of the bendy buses that are still in service and will almost certainly be sold at a great loss, and the ongoing problem of fare collection, a big problem with the bendy buses being one driver manned and two door vehicles.
All those not wishing to pay simply got on through the back door and exited the same way.
The new buses are also two door, but will have an additional member of staff checking tickets? The veracity of the ticket inspector will be called into question whilst demanding payment when the bus passes through certain areas of London with certain “minorities boarding who have never paid on the old buses”.
Anybody who thinks that that is overstated should note the first route with the new buses – No 38 will now stop short of the old route terminus Clapton Pond located in the Lower Clapton Road (where I lived as a child), now known as the “murder mile” – make what you like from that decision, though I’m sure if asked Tfl will come up with the correct answer.
Boris has also been economical with the truth over the Boris bikes, not a bad idea in principle and well used in certain situations, but the recent doubling of the yearly usage fee puts things into perspective as the “they will be self funding” pronouncement seems a little of target as the £50 million in sponsorship from Barclays has only resulted in £14 million so far and the bikes are losing 11/12 million a year and Tfl when asked said it had no idea when the bike scheme would break even.
I don’t know what it is about politicians and statements on costs, always it seems being perceived as popular is the main concern and the resultant staying in office and sucking on the public teat, and Boris for all his staged buffoonery (beginning to lose it’s allure I think) is just another who can’t help spending badly as Danny De Vito put so well, other peoples money.
All this adds up to over £500 million p….. up against the wall so to speak, small beer compared with say the over £11 billion wasted on the NHS IT project amongst other schemes, but indicative of the way our civil servants – and that’s all of them – waste and continue to waste our money.