“We should on day one, act one, scene one, hold a competition to get rid of the bendy bus”

Thus Spake Boris, back last year.  Today, far from day one, act one scene one, it’ll be some way past day one, act one, scene one of the next Mayoral term before they’re phased out, as Boris seems to have realised that contracts can’t be torn up willy-nilly.  It’s called respect for property rights, and the Conservatives used to be keen on it – who was it who compared the renationalisation of Railtrack to the actions of the Mugabe regime*?  The Guardian today:

The first of London’s 393 bendy buses will be retired next year when contracts are renewed on three routes, including the popular no 38 from Hackney to Victoria Station, and operators will be told to replace the 60ft long vehicles with double-deckers.

Let’s get back to the table of dates and add in the number of buses on each service (PVR – the peak daily requirement).

  • Route – Start – Duration – End
  • 12 – 31/07/2004 – 5 years – 31/07/2009 – 31
  • 18 – 23/08/2003 – 5+2 years – 23/08/2010 – 32
  • 25 – 26/06/2004 – 5 years – 26/06/2009 – 43
  • 29 – 14/01/2006 – 5 years – 14/01/2011 – 29
  • 38 – 20/07/2002 – 7 years –  20/07/2009 – 47
  • 73 – 01/05/2004  – 5 years – 01/05/2009 – 43
  • 149 – 18/10/2003  – 5+2 years – 18/10/2010 – 27
  • 207 – 09/04/2005 – 5 years – 09/04/2010 – 25
  • 436 – 09/02/2008 – 5 years – 09/02/2013 – 26
  • 453 – 16/02/2008 – 5 years – 16/02/2013 – 23
  • 507 – 01/06/2002 – 5+2 years – 01/06/2009 – 9
  • 521 – 01/06/2002 – 5+2 years – 01/06/2009 – 19

Today’s announcement is presumably the 38 plus two of the 12, 25, 73, 507 and 521.  The latter two are monstrously unsuitable for double-deck operation, incidentally, being high-volume short distance central London routes derived from the Red Arrow operation, which pioneered standee single deckers in the 1960s.

What we do know is that if all goes well, there’ll still be a PVR for 49 bendy buses in 2012 when the next Mayoral terms starts.

* Boris Johnson, of course (h/t Alex Harrowell)

 
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