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Mayor has let down London in his obsession with the New Routemaster – Caroline Pidgeon

January 21, 2016 6:34 PM

The Mayor's obsession with the New Routemaster is forcing Transport for London to purchase more of the expensive buses for the sole reason of keeping the production line running at Wrightbus it has been revealed today.

Transport for London's Finance and Policy Committee is set to purchase 30 more New Routemaster buses so as to "enable Wrightbus to maintain the operation of one of the two current production lines" confirming that there is no market for the New Routemaster buses outside of London.

At the same time there is growing evidence that London is falling behind many other cities around the world in the adoption of electric buses. The Mayor's pledge to deliver a fully electric double decker bus on London roads last year has already not been met despite claims it would commence in October.

Commenting on the latest discovery about the New Routemaster bus Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group said:

"The proposal to purchase New Routemaster buses simply to keep a production line running is clear evidence that no one is interested in buying these buses except the Mayor of London.

"The New Routemasters are incredibly expensive to both purchase and run and they fall far short of the environmental standards of 100% electric buses.

"London is falling behind other cities in the adoption of electric buses due to the Mayor's obsession with the expensive New Routemaster bus."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. Details of tthe TfL Finance and Policy Committee:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/fpc-160121-item13-p1-new-routemasters.pdf.

2. Information about the cost of the New Routemaster bus. Each Routemaster costs £350,000, considerably more than other hybrid buses.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-19605280

3. Information about past purchasing policies by TfL of the New Routemaster bus:

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/board-20141105-part-1-item08-new-routemasters.pdf

http://content.tfl.gov.uk/Part-1-Item08-New-Bus-for-London-Rollout.pdf

4. Information on the environmental record of the New Routemaster bus:

http://www.airqualitynews.com/2015/07/21/tfl-admits-to-new-routemaster-bus-battery-problems/

5. Details of the cost of retrofitting the New Routemaster buses:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/transport/new-routemasters-to-get-opening-windows-following-heat-complaints-tfl-announce-a2950441.htm

On the 15th July 2015 TfL stated that a double decker all electric bus trial would start in October 2015.

https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2015/july/more-than-50-all-electric-buses-to-enter-service-in-londo

6. Information about the adoption of electric buses around the world is set out in the enclosed spreadsheet