Regular readers will know that we’ve long wondered why Boris and Kulveer pretend that the NB4L is around a £3m cost to TfL, when any moderately informed back-of-envelope calculations bring things in a lot higher.  Let’s remind ourselves of Boris’s public statement in response to a 14th October 2009 question from Labour’s Val Shawcross:

The TfL business plan anticipates £1m being spent in 2009-10, £1.1m being spent in 2010-11 and £1.2m in 2011-12 for designing and prototyping the New Bus for London.

Now, a mere 3-and-a-bit months later, costs have been jacked sharply upwards.  Those three-and-a-bit months included the contract award and signing, of course.  Let’s take a look at the numbers [PDF] from the latest of those goldmine Project Monitoring and Approvals document (dated 21/1/2010) kindly brought to my attention by a reader, for which much thanks:

ST-PJ305 – New Bus for London

Approval      An additional £10.876m taking authority to £11.371m was approved to let a contract for the design and development of a new bus for London and delivery of five vehicles into service.

Outputs and Schedule
The scope of the contract covers the following activities:
• The design and development phase
• The delivery of a two-stage mock up
• The manufacture and delivery of an engineering test vehicle
• The delivery of an engineering test vehicle
• The delivery of a prototype vehicle
• The delivery of the first five production vehicles
The first five vehicles are to be delivered into service by 1 February 2012.

Last time we looked (24/11/2009) the drawdown was £0.495m out of an expected cumulative authority of £3.3m, so this is quite a jump – over £8m (£0.495m is the difference between the additional money and the total authority provided).  Is Boris’s most famous vanity project becoming a bit of a money pit, one wonders?  That’s £2.27m per bus, against a cost for an already developed hybrid of the same capacity at around £350k.  Wrightbus must be laughing all the way to the bank.

For completeness, Boris is spending our money in these other areas this month:

  • £5.6m more on the Urban Traffic Control centre and associated kit (total now: £25.69m)
  • £0.41m more on the Olympic Route Network (total now: £10.51m)
  • £10.876m more on the New Bus for London (total now: £11.371m)
  • £3.1m on Electric Vehicles (total now: £3.1m out of £20m) – notably this is just the costs of the bureaucracy, tendering and marketing!

Other matters of interest – two new items without budget appear in the project lists now – Croxley Rail Link (rerouting the Metropolitan Line into Watford Junction) and Northern Line Extension (presumably the Nine Elms/Battersea line Boris is trying to fund privately).  Finally the Cycle Superhighways are now a £145m project, up from £140.450m in July 2009.

 

13 Responses to New Bus For London – Costs Shoot Up

  1. ian says:

    Bit harsh to lay any blame at the door of Wrightbus. I imagine their R&D costs wil be enormous for a brand new bus which Boris will probably require to run on rocking horse shit and be driven by fairies

  2. Just all lies I think unfortunately

  3. Martin says:

    I guess that means Bus fares will go up again in due course ! probably by Stealth !

  4. Where_art_thou_ken says:

    Who wil be catching buses anyway – I mean we’re all going to be unemployed and there is no free travel for the unemployed.

    Boris may as well introduce a ‘Dinky Bus’ – as in the minature car maker – because that’s all you will need for the number of passengers using it.

    ….maybe Big Bozo was right and cutting bus capacity was brilliant foresight – it’s just a shame he’s gone about it in the most expensive way possible!

  5. Tom says:

    “Bit harsh to lay any blame at the door of Wrightbus.”

    I suspect when it came down to the last two and knowing they had a fairly captive audience they’d both price up a fairly substantial TfL contribution, not least because the project is so tightly tied to the current Mayor and is scheduled to deliver within weeks of him possibly leaving office. No private business takes unnecessary risk, as Boris is discovering with Tube Lines (he’s apparently shocked, I tell you, shocked that the risk wasn’t happily borne by the private sector).

    After all, if I gave you £2.27m, some aluminium and Channel Four’s Salvage Squad I reckon you could knock up a working bus in 18 months. Paint it red, stick Boris in the hole at the back and job’s a good’un. Trebles all round, although considering it’s Protestant Ulster we’re talking about it’ll be a small sherry at most and then early to bed with someone else’s wife.

  6. Where_art_thou_ken says:

    Did anyone notice that Boris did not give the extra millions he received from council tax to the MET?
    I wonder what he has in mind for that little windfall…

  7. [...] – we haven’t seen one yet.  Secondly, this is months late as a story, we were on the case in early February and even then that was using data from the month before.  Let’s see if the [...]

  8. [...] development cost was put at £3m by Tfl but as this post by Boris Watch suggests the real cost could be closer to ’£11.371m… approved to let a contract for [...]

  9. Just all lies I think unfortunately … :(

  10. you got to love this crazy guy.

  11. [...] ‘New London Bus’, due out  in Feb 2012, will cost 2.27m pounds each!  http://www.boriswatch.co.uk/2010/02/05/new-bus-for-london-costs-shoot-up/So for just 15 of these  wonderful new buses you could convert the whole fleet of 7500 to fuel NH3 [...]

  12. [...] ‘New London Bus’, due out  in Feb 2012, will cost 2.27m pounds each!  http://www.boriswatch.co.uk/2010/02/05/new-bus-for-london-costs-shoot-up/So for just 15 of these  wonderful new buses you could convert the whole fleet of 7500 to fuel 100% [...]

  13. [...] ‘New London Bus’, due out  in Feb 2012, will cost 2.27m pounds each!  http://www.boriswatch.co.uk/2010/02/05/new-bus-for-london-costs-shoot-up/So for just 15 of these  wonderful new buses you could convert the whole fleet of 7500 to [...]

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