End of the road for the Boris bus

 

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that it will not be ordering any more New Routemaster 'Boris Buses' after spending scores of millions on the controversial project.

The buses have been beset with problems since they were first commissioned by the former mayor, Boris Johnson, including high internal temperatures, faulty batteries, steering faults and a design change that closed the iconic open back door.

The TfL draft business plan, published last month, states that the organisation, which comes within the remit of current mayor Sadiq Khan, will ‘discontinue purchases of New Routemaster buses’.

”Local

In his manifesto last year, Mr Khan said he would end Mr Johnson’s practice of ‘using Londoners' money to fund expensive vanity projects’, including the ‘failing’ New Routemaster buses.

However, Mr Johnson had already confirmed in February last year an order for another 195 New Routemaster buses at a cost of £319,000 per bus. A spokesperson for TfL confirmed that it would be honouring this order.

The TfL draft business plan highlights capital spending of £64m in 2016/17 and £13m in 2017/18 on ‘New Routemasters ordered in February 2016’ but states: ‘no further orders for the bus will be made.’

It states: ‘New capital investment will be reduced significantly as we discontinue purchases of New Routemaster buses. We will carry on investing in the fleet however, by retro-fitting 3,000 vehicles with Euro VI standard emission technology by 2020.’

The plan also includes the introduction of 12 Low Emission Bus Zones and the phasing out of diesel-only buses, with an ‘aim’ of purchasing only hybrid or zero-emission double decker buses from 2018.

In November Mr Khan unveiled in London the world’s first double-decker hydrogen bus, built by UK bus manufacturer Wrightbus, which also produces Boris buses.

 

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