diamond geezer

 Tuesday, May 18, 2010

New Bus for BowA New Bus For London

+ It's lovely, isn't it?
- It's expensive, isn't it?

+ I mean, look at that lovely glass swoop up the staircase. Tell me it doesn't stir the heart.
- I mean, what was so wrong with the old buses anyway, at least they got you from A to B.

+ It's a proper heritage-evoking Routemaster with a rear platform.
- It's not a Routemaster at all, merely a souped-up double-decker with a trip hazard on the back.

+ Hey, it'll cut emissions, which has got to be good for the environment.
- But there'll need to be three new buses for every two bendies, which is actually more emissions.

+ It's got three doors and two staircases, which'll definitely speed up boarding time.
- Except a bendy bus has three doors and no staircases, which is much quicker.

+ The first few vehicles will be on the road in time for the Mayoral election in 2012
- The first five vehicles will cost £8m between them in development costs. Ouch.

+ After the initial development phase is over, these stylish buses will only cost £300000 each.
- But a bog-standard double decker only costs £150000, so how is this value for money?

+ By the end of 2012 there could be be more than 100 New Buses on the road,
- A fleet of 100 buses is nothing, and will service no more than three or four bus routes.

+ Good old Boris, he said he'd scrap the bendies and that's exactly what he's doing
- It'd be much quicker to replace all the bendies with ordinary double deckers. And much cheaper not to replace them at all.

+ An old Routemaster had room for only 77 passengers, but this has a capacity of 87.
- An old Routemaster had 72 seats, but this has only 62 (and lots more people standing).

+ There'll be a conductor on the bus, which'll stop crime, it'll be just like the old days.
- There'll be a 'uniformed presence' on the bus, sometimes, which'll stop nothing.

+ Oh, the freedom to be able to hop on and off whenever and wherever we choose!
- Except the rear platform will only be open when there's a uniformed presence on board, which'll be at busy times only. If the staff budget gets squeezed, which would seem likely, then expect to be trapped on board at lunchtime or mid-evening or in the middle of the night, and bloody angry that you can't get off because that was the whole point of the new bus wasn't it? Most of the time the door will be shut, which is an utterly wasted opportunity.

+ Just wait until you actually get to sit in one, and then see how much you love it.
- It's going to be a long wait, and you're quite likely to have to stand.

+ It's ground-breaking British engineering - a new London icon.
- It's a misguided vanity product, ill-timed for recession.

+ It's lovely, isn't it?
- It's expensive, isn't it?


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