I deliberately left the bendy stuff out of the MQT’s report, because it indicates that Boris is still just as stubborn and just as in thrall to the Bendy Jihad as ever, unfortunately.  Witness:

Londoners want bendy buses off the streets and I plan to do just that.

This directly contradicts London Travelwatch (who represent transport *users*, remember), who said:

…objections to them have not featured in its appeals caseload.


TfL should undertake (and publish) attitudinal research into the preferences of users of routes 38, 507 and 521 regarding vehicle type and design before committing itself to any change in the type of vehicles used.

What’s more, Boris has acted the slippery fish when asked the big question about his claim of cyclist fatalities from bendy buses.  Check this out for world-class evasiveness:

Valerie Shawcross: When you said ‘“We should on day one, act one, scene one, hold a competition to get rid of the bendy bus. They wipe out cyclists, there are many cyclists killed every year by them’’ were you aware of the fact that no cyclist has been killed in collision with a Bendy Bus in London since they were introduced?
Answer from the Mayor:
There is a record of serious incidents involving cyclists and bendy buses. TfL defines serious incidents as those where a cyclist may have required treatment, including in hospital. There was one serious incident involving a cyclist in each of the years 2005/06 and 2006/07, and two in 2007/08.
Analysis that was undertaken by TfL earlier this year showed that bendy buses were involved in 32% more collisions in total and 36% more collisions with cyclists than non articulated buses serving a similar area, per vehicle kilometre.

He hasn’t answered the question.  He’s dodged, ducked, dived, dipped and then dodged again, for good measure.  He’s not offered up any plausible explanation for what was either a direct lie or the result of listening to and believing someone who was lying.  I wonder why.

As for the facts put forward, there’s a glaring lacuna in there that renders this answer not only evasive but actually misleading.  Basically, you can’t compare artic and non-artic buses by vehicle kilometre and use the results unaltered.  It’s intellectually dishonest and here’s why:

We’ve seen from the London Travelwatch document that in order to maintain passenger capacity on debendification you need 40-50% more buses (in fact 75 bendies become 117 non-articulated buses on the first three routes, for a total increase of 56%, because the 507 and 521 are special cases).  Presumably, if the bendy casualty rate is really only 32-36% more, then scrapping bendies and replacing them with 56% more non-bendy buses will *increase* the casualty rate and be less safe for cyclists.  Let’s do the maths on a simple example:

Say intensive non-bendy route X has 10 collisions with cyclists per year and intensive bendy route Y, with the same number of vehicle km operated, and according to the Boris Ratio, 13 collisions per year.  Total: 23 collisions.

Now, we debendify route Y, increasing vehicle kilometres by 50%, but reducing the casualty rate.  We now have 13/1.3*1.5 = 15 collisions per year, for 25 collisions in total, so we’ve made the bus network about 8 or 9% less safe for cyclists.

It can be seen from this that no matter how the figures are dressed up and spun, the extra casualty rate on bendies has to be below the replacement bus rate, otherwise you end up injuring more cyclists.

I ask myself what Boris has against London’s cyclists?  He seems to favour a lot of projects that actively harm them.

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