Now TfL Commissioner, Sir Peter Hendy, is claiming that the unacceptably high temperatures and sauna-like conditions experienced over the past week on the New Bus For London are “a folk myth” – despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Hendy was a guest on the BBC Radio London 94.9 Drivetime With Eddie Nestor this afternoon:

Nestor: So, I’ve fallen asleep Thursday, Friday, to yesterday and today, ‘cos the Tubes are hot.

Hendy: Yup.

Nestor: But you’re getting loads of complaints – well, I am, anyway – about the people on the buses. On your brand new, state-of-the-art buses. Why are they so hot?

Hendy: They’re no hotter than any other bus.

Nestor: What does that mean?!

Hendy: It means they’re all fitted with air cooling and the moment you blew [sic] air cooling which blows cooler air through the upper saloon, if you open the window – the buses aren’t fitted with windows – this is becoming a folk myth.

The buses aren’t fitted with windows because, actually, air cooling is better if you don’t have opening windows. The moment you open the windows, the air you’re blowing through blows out the windows.

Just tell me, do you open the car windows with air conditioning?

Nestor: Well, no, you keep it closed so it works.

Hendy: Absolutely.

Let’s examine Hendy’s claims: “They’re no hotter than any other bus” – yes, they are. They’re hotter than a 50-year-old Routemaster which has no air-cooling but does have opening windows.

“Air cooling is better if you don’t have opening windows. The moment you open the windows, the air you’re blowing through blows out the windows” – the air cooling on the New Bus For London is totally inadequate in normal London summer temperatures and the lack of opening windows means there is no respite for the passengers who are suffering unnaceptably hot and humid conditions.

“Just tell me, do you open the car windows with air conditioning?” - of course not, because cars have proper air conditioning, not utterly ineffectual air cooling like the New Bus For London.

Just tell me, Commissioner Hendy, do you remove the back door from your car whilst running the air conditioning at full blast? No? Then why claim that the air cooling on the New Bus For London “is better if you don’t have opening windows” when all of the routes (minus the 148) operating the New Bus For London run during the day time with their back doors wide open. In any case, it’s been proven that the air cooling still doesn’t work when the back door is kept closed between stops on the 148.

As predicted, the denials have started.


11 Responses to Peter Hendy: “This is becoming a folk myth”

  1. Given the state of taxi bills that Hendy racks up, makes you wonder if he’s even been on a bus lately.

  2. Helen says:

    The only bus he’s been on recently will be one of his own personal Routemasters. I doubt he’s been on a New Bus For London since last summer when he went on a empty one, straight out of the garage.

  3. RTC says:

    What is it going to take to get them to admit there is a problem?

    He calls it ‘Air Cooling’ but in the winter,it would kick heat out I assume so thereby its Air Con and is definitely inferior to Scania’s and Enviro’s.

    Did no one think,’What if the air con fails? Do we withdraw the bus until its fixed or just let the passengers cook even more than normal?

    Im ordering a Digital Thermometer off Ebay and will be doing some test journeys on a Scania,Enviro,Volvo and will also bit the bullet and even spend as much as I can stand on a Roast Master in a few weeks.

  4. RTC says:

    Thats what we need to sort the Roast Master problem….A Californian based AC company ;-) (banging head against wall)

    Back in the mid 2000’s before we starting get AC buses (and I mean proper AC buses) then didnt they say all new buses would have white roofs to reflect the sun as opposed to absorbing it like they did with the current buses at the time. Anyone seen the top of a Roadt Master and seen what colour it is?

  5. Helen says:

  6. Helen says:

    You can see the white roof in the tweet I’ve posted in the previous comment. The black rectangle is the emergency exit – no air extraction units as on the bus in front of it.

  7. RTC says:


    I think that might solve one of the reasons it’s so hot.Without any outlet fans where is the heat supposed to go especially since its not getting out of the windows! They seem to have gone with the idea that they would blow cold air against the hot air to reduce the heat which might work if you were in an Air Tunnel but not with the asthmatic option the Roast Master has.
    Maybe the batteries on the RM cant cope with proper AC and its too much drain on the batteries and this is the best the batteries can ultilise with all the other electrical drain?

    The S Stock has massive fans on each carriage roof and its a fundmental requirement for Air Con to work.
    Considering PH about Air Conn in cars then maybe thats the air cooling he has tried? Bit different as a RM has alot bigger square area than a 5 seater car!

    I wondering if someone knew about all these problems and couldnt do anything about it as contracts were signed,penalty clauses needing paying and Boris wanted his new bus to play with even if it didnt work.

    Its like Christmas Morning,You open your present and find a brand new bus…..The problem is it doesnt work very well, wont start most of the time. and is hot to touch ;-)

  8. Greg Tingey says:

    Hendy is spokesthing for TfL – & they just lie, automatically, when criticism shows up.
    Look at the ghastly still-not-properly-functional TfL website, with less useful things on it than the old one!
    [ No first/last tubes or timetables, for instance]
    Or their rejection of ANY criticism of the ridiculous, loud, repetitve “announcements” on the tube.

  9. RTC says:

    To be fair regarding the announcements they are Visually Impaired Passengers mainly and for the odd tourist that listens and have no problem with announcements. Just use a good pair of DJ type headphones and it blocks them out as well as all the other sounds you dont want to hear. As with the iBus(Im surprised Apple havent sued TFL about it as Apple have sued everyone else) and seem to think they invented the world ;-) You get use to the ibus announcements and they blend into the background after a while.

    London Mayor’s Question Time is taking place on 2nd June 2014 and London Assembly Transport Comittee is on 9th June 2014 and maybe somebody from Boriswatch Towers could submit a question to the London Assembly getting Boris or TFL to answer (or attempt to) the Air Cooling or lack of issue on the Roast Master?

    As for the TFL website,What was up with the old one? Arent TFL trying to save money? How much did the new site cost? The BBC keep doing the same and there was nothing wrong with the old one.

  10. Bus announcements a wonderful thing, especially when you’re somewhere new as I was recently. How do I know when the bus gets to Penge East? Simple. I wait until it tells me. No fuss.

    When I’m outside of London, I really miss it. You become reliant on the driver remembering that you’ve asked them to tell you where to get off, or else get off at the wrong place completely!

  11. Dave says:

    TFL are obliged to lie because they can’t be seen publicly disagreeing with old butt brain the mayor.

    I bet they are literally counting the days until the fat oaf finally sods off.

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