The scandal of Boris Johnson’s faulty buses is now in the Evening Standard, a newspaper normally so pro-Boris you’d think it was his own personal mouthpiece. For instance, the London paper, unlike national media, completely failed to report on the recent legal ruling that the public has the right to know about Boris Johnson’s reckless personal behaviour.

An Evening Standard investigation found:

Heat levels on the upper decks were yesterday recorded at more than 30C – the maximum for transporting cattle and other farm animals across Europe.

Temperatures recorded at 1pm yesterday on the upper deck of the 24 bus reached 30.4C, more than 7C warmer than outside.

Humiditity levels were 77 per cent – 15 percentage points higher than notoriously hot Asian countries such as Malaysia – and almost double that of the Tube.

The issues have been caused by faults in the vehicles’ air conditioning system and the absence of opening windows.

Really? Despite the fact that the prototypes, which were trialled on route 38 for 16 months, suffer from exactly the same problem?

Transport for London today admitted the buses, which cost £354,500 each, were suffering “teething problems” and encouraged concerned passengers to make a complaint.

Please do: 0845 300 7000 or email customerservices.buses@tfl.gov.uk

Windows were omitted by bus designer Thomas Heatherwick – best known for his Olympic cauldron – as he feared they would “ruin the efficiency” of the on-board cooling units.

Thomas Heatherwick didn’t fear that operating the vehicle with the back door wide open would also “ruin the efficiency”? Irrelevant, in any case, as the cooling units still don’t operate efficiently with the back door firmly shut, as I discovered yesterday on the 38 and as the Evening Standard were told by a 24 passenger:

Lucyanna Hiscock, 25, a nursery nurse from Pimlico, said: “Everyone I know hates the buses. They look nice but there are no windows and the air conditioning doesn’t work. And at night they close the back doors so you’re completely shut in. It was so hot the other day I thought I was going to faint.”

BBC London Transport Correspondent, Tom Edwards, was told by TfL on 3 July:

Those problems are fixed

Yet that was contradicted by what TfL told the Evening Standard today:

Mike Weston, operations director for London Buses, said: “We are aware of some technical issues with the ventilation and air chill system on some of the New Bus for London vehicles on Route 24.

“Our suppliers are working to fix the issue as soon as possible. As you would expect with the introduction of a large fleet of new buses, there will be teething problems and we are working hard to minimise the impact of these on our passengers.”

Boris Johnson has now spent £11m on R&D and eight prototypes and has committed to spend a further £354,500 each for 600 production models (compared to £305,000 each for off-the-peg hybrid buses) plus an extra £62,000 in staffing costs for each vehicle (the “conductor”) – yet it was obvious from the day the very first prototype took to the streets of London that this over-cost, over-weight, extra-long, lower-capacity bus had an inherent design fault.

 

 
Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.