When TfL answered my original FoI with commendable speed I was all ready to praise them, until further analysis of the figures and Helen’s trip to Birmingham showed that they couldn’t possibly be right.  They’ve now owned up:

We have provided the below response to your request for information recently.

However, we have since become aware that an incorrect figure was provided for the current passenger capacity due to an administrative oversight. The actual figure should have been 77 and not 83. As I stated in my response, once design refinements are made to the first generation of production vehicles, this will rise to the anticipated number of 87.
Please accept my apology for any inconvenience this might have caused.

So it’s officially 77 now?  The placard, if you recall, once Helen found the damn thing says:

  • 63 seated
  • 15 standing
  • 1 wheelchair

which is 78, so the missing person is presumably the chap standing around at the back with nothing to do.  Anyway, we now know that Wrights have to lop 68*10 = 680kg off the weight to get 87 on the production buses, which is about 5.4% of the pre-production bus weight.  Considering that according to a recent article in Buses magazine TfL’s old bus enthusiast Leon Daniels is enthusiastically showing people pictures of LT9, LT10 and LT11 on the production line they’ll have had to get their skates on with the lopping process:

The Bus With No Name idea is bizarre, though.  What else from that article? Ah yes, there’ll be only 600 of them, the same number as there were RMLs ten years ago despite the huge increase in bus patronage since:

It’s the end of the line, in other words.  It will not be London’s new bus for the simple reason that most double deckers bought for London will not be NB4Ls.  Indeed, we can probably estimate a date beyond which London will, yet again, revert to buying bog standard (probably hybrid) double deckers or, as I’m increasingly thinking, bendy buses – Daniels all but admits in the article that the NB4L is partly driven by a need to replace the bendy’s clear advantages in passenger loading speed and dwell times and with Boris no longer interested and out of here in 2016 and Hendy (59) and Daniels (57) closer to well-earned retirement there is the prospect of sanity returning at some point.

Oh, and the refusal to publish the NB4L’s PM10 emissions has led to this article, with a sense of pebbles beginning to slide ahead of an avalanche:

We await the responses to Darren Johnson’s multiple Mayor’s Questions this month on capacity, cost and emissions with keener interest than usual.

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