Andrew Gilligan, writing as kennite, ross281, etc., opined that the reason for his hatred of bendy buses was all about the seating capacity:

With only 2,009 seats available in the peak hour, as against 3,960 under the old Routemaster regime,the “new 73” was not better from every angle at all (PX, 2005, as himself)

And because the number of seats on a bendy is dramatically lower than on a Routemaster, peak-hour seating capacity has been reduced by nearly half. (CiF, 7/9/07 as kennite)

[O]n the 73, where the number of buses on the route fell by a quarter over the old RM days and peak-hour seats by half (ES 27/10/08 as himself)

You might have thought from this that the seating figures for the revised non-bendy 507 route would be of interest.  I append them for any Gilligans or alter egos who might be passing:

2002-2009 Nasty Old Ken Era 507

  • 9 buses
  • 18m per bus
  • 162m of bus on the road
  • 49 seats per bus
  • 100 standee places per bus (placarded, TfL capacity figures assume 71)
  • 441 seats in total
  • Standee/seated ratio 2.04:1

2009-2016 Cuddly New Boris Era 507

  • 15  buses
  • 12m per bus
  • 180m of bus on the road
  • 21 seats per bus
  • 76 standee places per bus (placarded, TfL capacity figures assume 49)
  • 315 seats in total
  • Standee/seated ratio 3.6:1

So:

  • the number of seats has been reduced by 29% so you’ll get a seat less often if you’re a regular user
  • the amount of bus on the road has increased by 11%, 18m, or an entire bendy bus
  • the cost per year is £214k more than keeping the bendies
  • the inside has exactly the same ambience as the bendy
  • there’s no change to the open boarding procedure, so there’s no fare evasion decrease to offset the cost

Still think it’s a good idea, Andy?  Stupid question, really, it’s not like you can reason with fanatics.

Elsewhere:

* “Chatting to a well-placed industry source at the North Weald bus rally at the start of the month, he told us that plans are now being drawn-up to retain bendy-bus operation on two services in London, one route being the 436 (Paddington-Lewisham). It could be argued that now in office, Boris has seen just how ill-informed he’s been about the supposed horror on the streets that are the bendy buses, but has got himself in so deep he has no option other than to progress with their removal.”

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14 Responses to Debendification Reality : Higher Costs, Fewer Seats

  1. Mr Grunt says:

    I remember how unpopular the Tram’s were when they were introduced to Croydon and beyond . People moaned that they were to bendy / articulated and were to long , a nightmare for pedestrians , were dangerous , basically the same arguments as the Bendy Bus recieves . Now people have got used to them and pedestrians and cyclist /all road users understand and respect each other and know how to interact together without problems or incident .

    Given time people would have began to respect and interact with the Bendy Bus around London and without concern or incident . Also given time people would not have given the Bendy Bus a second look or thought .

    The Bendy Bus at junctions or anyother point is no different then two Buses bumper to bumper . People are already used to Thousands of Articulated Lorries on the Streets of London and Bendy Buses are similar and you dont hear people moaning about them . So given the above I dont see the justification for removing the Bendy Bus especially when you look at the enormous cost involved . Lets not forget that there is a recession going on where money is expremely tight .We know who is going to foot the cost of this dont we , not Boris Johnson but the travelling public . Off course Boris Johnson will not consider these facts because it is all Chicken Feed to him .

    Any fool can see that to remove the Bendy Bus at this time ,even if you are mad enough to remove it , is completely Delirius and Deluded . Thank You Boris Johnson for this complete waste of money that will end out costing me and NOT YOU .

    So now the hidden expense of Boris Johnson’s Mayoralty is starting to emerge and Im sure the list will expand in due course , just you wait and see .

  2. Mr Grunt says:

    I remember how unpopular the Tram’s were when they were introduced to Croydon and beyond . People moaned that they were to bendy / articulated and were to long , a nightmare for pedestrians , were dangerous , basically the same arguments as the Bendy Bus recieves . Now people have got used to them and pedestrians and cyclist /all road users understand and respect each other and know how to interact together without problems or incident .

    Given time people would have began to respect and interact with the Bendy Bus around London and without concern or incident . Also given time people would not have given the Bendy Bus a second look or thought .

    The Bendy Bus at junctions or anyother point is no different then two Buses bumper to bumper . People are already used to Thousands of Articulated Lorries on the Streets of London and Bendy Buses are similar and you dont hear people moaning about them . So given the above I dont see the justification for removing the Bendy Bus especially when you look at the enormous cost involved . Lets not forget that there is a recession going on where money is extremely tight .We know who is going to foot the cost of this dont we , not Boris Johnson but the travelling public . Off course Boris Johnson will not consider these facts because it is all Chicken Feed to him .

    Any fool can see that to remove the Bendy Bus at this time ,even if you are mad enough to remove it , is completely Delirius and Deluded . Thank You Boris Johnson for this complete waste of money that will end out costing me and NOT YOU .

    So now the hidden expense of Boris Johnson’s Mayoralty is starting to emerge and Im sure the list will expand in due course , just you wait and see .

  3. Tim says:

    The trams in Croydon are different, they run large parts of the routes off road on their own tracks. They run on tracks so can’t swerve out on you like a road vehicle.
    A bendy bus at a junction is very different then two normal buses bumper to bumper. The second normal bus driver won’t generally follow the first if he will block the junction/crossing. Whereas a bendy often will end up across blocking it.
    I realise articulated lorries are sometimes needed in central London (to deliever to building sites etc), but I wouldn’t want to encourage more of them. As a regular cyclist in central London, bendies are a pain as if a normal bus starts to pull out on me I can get past fairly easily, whereas if a bendy pulls out you often can’t and get pushed out to the righ hand side of the road.

  4. Mr Grunt says:

    I know for a fact that cyclists are more at risk from death or injury due to accidents with cars . Now look at the injuries and deaths due to Bendy Buses . There is no argument because Bendy Buses dont have a bad record . Im confused as to why cyclists or other road user’s cannot see a ” BIG RED BUS ” coming down the street . An experienced road user usually can predict what others are going to do .

  5. Tim says:

    Its not a case of not being able to see them. Its what they do that you can’t predict.
    I am an experienced road user yet I can’t do much when a bus overtakes me at speed then pulls in and brakes hard (worse if its a bendy). Or if I’m overtaking a stationary bendy which then decides that it will pull out without indicating and try and push me into the central pedestrian island.
    Strangly its incidents like these that make almost all cyclists I know in central London look forward to the bendy phase out.

  6. Mr Grunt says:

    Sorry mate i’m not a cyclist , so forgive me . Im am certain though that this is an expensive way to put right what is a problem for some road users . I think that Education would have been the best solution for this situation because this is an Ugly waste of money when we are going through a recession . I do think that the public should be more understanding and I am convinced that in time , all road users would have respected each other and eventually no road user would have given the Bendy Bus a second thought .

  7. Tim@3
    “The second normal bus driver won’t generally follow the first if he will block the junction/crossing.”

    I don’t know where you live Tim, but I see them do it every day when I’m walking to the bus stop – I live just north of Seven Sisters Road.

    I think the deal with cyclists and bendy buses was more to do with perceived rather than actual danger – cyclists and bendies get on fine in large European cities and towns. Of course if we’re talking about the kind of cyclist that reserves the right to weave around traffic and in general behave in a dangerous manner then I have very little sympathy for them.

  8. Tim says:

    @bluepillnation
    “cyclists and bendies get on fine in large European cities and towns”
    They would be the ones with a poper cycle path network and presumed fault of the motor vehicle in a case of a collision with a cyclist.
    Are you saying that cyclist don’t have the right to overtake stationary traffic?
    Also the greatest proporsion of cyclists killed by large vehicles in London are female. The cyclists you are talking about are far less likely to be involved in a serious accident.
    See also the suppressed TfL report into cycling safety which found it was safer to jump red lights.

  9. Helen says:

    Cyclists jumping red lights certainly isn’t safer for pedestrians…

  10. Mr Grunt says:

    ” What is Going on Around Here ” ? The biggest Hazard for cyclists after collisions with cars is ” Pot Holes in The Road ” Just face reality here and look at the statistic’s . How many cyclists have been hurt , seriously injured or killed by a Bendy Bus ? The Bendy Bus is completely innocent . Pot Holes alone are a bigger danger to cyclist after the car .

    Lastly I would like to add that pedestrians have a real fear from cyclists that jump the lights , suddenly appear from nowhere and those that cycle on the pavement . Also the amount of injuries caused to pedestrian’s due to cyclists bad habits is alarming . When you are next in London take the time to observe other cyclist’s and you will see for yourself .

  11. Where_art_thou_ken says:

    Tim,

    I’ve been riding in London for 6 years now on a daily basis. I have no problems with bendy buses – they are no more dangerous than any normal large vehicle.

    It seems you share the same inability to ride a bike as Boris obviously does. Sadly you do need common sense to ride safely in any city.

    Tom’s analysis is spot on – this whole idiotic episode was a waste of time and money. The roads will be busier and the congestion greater as well as the pollution and all because Boris is a bufoon.

    I would have taken those big skip lorries off the streets before attacking the bendy bus. They do kill cyclists regularly and are a menace to our streets.

    I do agree however that in foreign cities the cycle lanes are kerbed and therefore the cyclists are much safer. However this would COST MONEY and Boris only cuts spending, not boosts it – unless it’s to help out one of his Eton old boys.

  12. Tom says:

    Indeed, there was another HGV/female cyclist collision yesterday, which ‘fortunately’ resulted only in a broken pelvis. This was at the notorious cyclist blackspot at Southwark Bridge, which amazingly enough is on Boris’s Cycle Superhighway.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=15530925

  13. Tim says:

    Kerbed cycle lanes would be impossible in many parts of London, not through cost but the size of the roads. We have too many narrow streets.
    The HGVs are a problem but are needed for the many building sites in London (and more will be needed when crossrail building starts). It would be good if some co-ordination of the times they are used could be made, but it still won’t get rid of them.
    Buses also are pulling into bus stops. So an HGV may be trouble at junctions and when passing, but buses often overtake then pull in (a left hook). There are some bus drivers that seem to forget you the moment the front of the bus is past them.
    What evidence do you have that I (or Boris for that matter) have some inability to cycle. I’ve been riding in London for five years as it happens

  14. hinrustjum says:

    Московская доска объявлений – это место, где каждый желающий может добавить объявление, а любой посетитель – прочитать его. Это безусловно девушки: блонды, брюнеточки, рыжие, черненькие, азиатские девушки, с огромными сиськами, с очень огромными сиськами, с татуировками, девченки из Азии и многие другие. Число зарегистрированных пользователей растет с каждым днем, их уже около 30 млн. Но ведь зачем его сохранять, если после него наверняка будет еще лучше.

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