Yes, it’s Monday and a high of 26°C in London. How did other Londoners enjoy their journeys on Boris Johnson’s New Bus For London today?

Not so much enjoying as enduring, then.

At 10:10am this morning, I boarded LT157 on route 10 at Hammersmith Bus Station. None of the Oyster readers were working so I got a free ride. 22°C outside. Both the ceiling vents and the skirting-level vents on the upper deck of the bus were blowing their weedy streams of air. Very few passengers, air inside the bus stuffy and with the usual horrible smell. By the time I alighted at the Royal Albert Hall, the temperature upstairs on the back seat was 25.4°C:
At 10:38am I boarded a Routemaster, RM1913. The conductor’s hand-held Oyster validator wasn’t working so I got another free ride. Upstairs, there were only three other passengers and it felt like a greenhouse – all the windows were shut. I walked the length of the bus and opened all the windows – the difference was palpable almost instantly with a cooling breeze blowing through the bus.

I got off the bus at Trafalgar Square. Even having started with all its upstairs windows closed, the temperature on the upper deck didn’t exceed 25.3°C – .1 of a degree centigrade cooler than the New Bus For London with its air cooling going full blast:
Note that the relative humidity was also much less on the Routemaster.

11:06am, I boarded LT112 on route 24 at the top of Whitehall – as I reached the upper deck it was like walking into a sauna. There was no air coming out of either the ceiling vents or the skirting vents – it was hot, stuffy and humid. I got off at Westminster Cathedral on Victoria Street as I couldn’t stand the oppressive heat any longer. The temperature had reached 29.1°C:

As I descended the stairs, I had the following exchange with the Customer Assistant:

Me: It’s sweltering up there – why isn’t the air conditioning on?

Customer Assistant: It’s automatically controlled – the driver can’t control it.

I’m confident that the temperature would have continued to climb, had I stayed on the bus.

What is the truth about the air cooling system on these new buses?

Is its regulation beyond the control of the bus crews?

Do any of the new vehicles have cooling systems which do actually regulate the internal temperature and humidity adequately on a reasonably hot day in London?

Why were Londoners promised expensive new buses with “amazing air conditioning” by Boris Johnson when they clearly have nothing of the sort and are hotter than a vehicle type which is now 60 years old?

Will Londoners have to suffer another summer of sauna-like conditions with some poor passengers requiring medical attention after travelling on the new bus?

We’d like some answers, Boris Johnson.

Maybe you’d like a reminder of your predecessor, Ken Livingstone, who kept his promise about air-conditioned trains for the Metropolitan, Circle, District and Hammersmith & City Lines:

Of course, Boris, you then came along and took all the glory for the new air-conditioned trains which were delivered after you had been elected Mayor of London.

What will your legacy to London’s transport be? Oh, yes, 600 bespoke buses which have been touted all over the world yet no other country wants to buy and which cannot even cope with normal summer temperatures in London.


3 Responses to Monday In Three Words?

  1. RTC says:

    I could spend all afternoon commenting on recent posts but as Im out of London(Thankfully) and on the coast breathing Fresh air,I’ll make it quick for the time being. Do TFL ever reply to any of these tweets or like the major just ignore them??
    Maybe an email to London Buses Customer Services or an old fashioned phone call to register a complaint will at least produce a monthly complaints total?
    Who knows the AC maybe Automatic and be more powerful than anyone has ever seen but if it is then they are all knackered. If it is Auto-op’s then the heat sensor is knackered(It might have melted?) ;-) As the sensor detects a temperature above the set maximum then it should kick in to bring it below or maintain it at a maximum! This obviously isnt happening.

    I would say the driver has no control and its failing in auto or just not upto the job.The 24 I was on in Feb/March,an asthmatic could have produced more air!

    Good point about the S Stock,the difference between a Met and Picc(above ground for at least an hour) was definitely noticeable even with all the Picc windows open and air passing through.

    Sun I got on an Enviro 400 which had all but 2 windows upstairs open and the A/C kicking out a nice cooling air flow.Sat on left of bus at 1st and it was hot with all the windows open so moved to Front right next to a window that was shut and infront of the A/C unit and the difference was noticeable straight away.I had a nice cool breeze the whole of my journey!

    People of London,STOP OPENING WINDOWS ON ‘PROPER’ AIR CONDITIONED BUSES’ This is why the NBFL has no windows because you too stupid to know how A/C works.Its just unfortunate that the one bus they do it too then they **** up the A/C! ;-)

  2. Alex says:

    Has anyone actually seen the air conditioner on one of these things? As in, we do know there’s one there?

  3. TD says:

    Fair enough, but S-Stock were funded and designed by Metronet under PPP, which Ken opposed. I doubt the mayor had any input into their specification.

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