“All that effort and you have one bus to show for it”

February 26, 2012 1:10 pm

Dear Boris,

I am writing to ask how you can justify the extraordinary cost and diversion of resources of procuring the ‘new bus’, which has come in at a price of £1.4 million per bus.

Why are you spending £1.4million on a single bus whilst raising bus fares by 50% across your term in office, cutting police and not even doing the job full-time, preferring to hold down a second job earning £250,000 from the Telegraph?

Somewhere along the line you seem to have lost touch. Four years and £11 million after your election, the new bus for London is exactly that, a single bus. All that effort and you have one bus to show for it.

Should the full number of these new buses finally reach the road, it will still only be eight buses out of a fleet of 7000 across London, at a cost of £1.4million per bus. That compares to the price of a conventional double-decker of around £190,000.  Riding this bus is surely the most expensive bus ticket in history.

With 62 seats at a cost of £1.4million, the cost per seat is £22,580. At £22,695, you can buy a brand new 3 series BMW.

Perhaps, if you had devoted as many hours to holding down fares for every Londoner as you have spent on this bus, my constituents would be a lot better off.

Yours sincerely

David Lammy MP

  • Michaeljamesbird

    Fare play, Lammy

  • Quiet_Sceptic

    This is either blatant politicking or, even more worrying, a display of how little understanding some Labour MPs have of manufacturing.

    A quick internet search shows that the contract placed with Wrightbus was for the development and construction of 5 prototypes for around £7.8M or £1.5M per prototype. The actual cost of the production busses is estimated at around £300k, higher than
    standard buses but then this bus is customised to London Transports
    requirements and incorporates expensive features like Hybrid technology.

    Most of that money will have gone into the design of the bus,  design and selection of all the various systems and sub-components and designing of production process, tooling etc.

    Designing and bringing new products to market costs money, lots of money, the big complaint made by the Left about business is its failure to invest in new products and in R&D but when TfL does, the politicians which should be natural supporters of the programme come out with ill-informed attacks.

    The New Routemaster looks to be a quality product made in the UK, instead of running it down, Labour ought to be supporting it.

  • AnotherOldBoy

    Any tendency to think better of Mr Lammy MP after last summer’s riots is eneded by this silly piece.  There will, of course, be many, many more of these splendid buses.  Only an idiot or someone who takes the public for idiots would put all the costs of developing a new bus on the first few. 

    The design is excellent: even the Guardian thinks so! See http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/feb/23/routemaster-london-bus-new?INTCMP=SRCH

    And after yesterday’s revelations about the tax arrangements of his main rival, Mr Johnson can be confident that he will be there to order more and more of Borismasters!

    (P.S. I look forward to reading on this site the views of those who have attacked any arrangement which reduces an individual’s exposure to income tax about the revelations about Mr Livingstone.)

  • AlanGiles

    The prototype starts in passenger service today (Monday):

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24038683-return-of-the-routemaster.do 

    The original prototype Routemaster ran on the Route 2 in November 1956 and it was two years before the first of the fleet started in regular service in the autumn of 1958. I’m a mine of useless information!

  • Chaskañawi

    Borris Johnson has been a very naughty boy indeed. May I suggest, David ‘smackthebaby’ Lammy, that instead of zealously “disiplining” your 3 year old, you should give Johnson a smack?

  • Pingback: Ken Livingstone v Boris Johnson: the February truth audit – Telegraph Blogs

Latest

  • News Labour MP sent anti-semitic messages

    Labour MP sent anti-semitic messages

    The Jewish Chronicle have reported that Luciana Berger MP and Louise Ellman MP have been subjected to anti-semitic tweets. Following the conviction of Garron Helm, who sent anti-semitic messages to Berger on Twitter – last night she faced further verbal online abuse. Messages sent to Berger included one that used the ‘judge’ – which in German means Jew. Another read “Only two places for Jews. The desert or in hell with their father the devil. #ExpelLucianaBerger” Berger has not responded to these […]

    Read more →
  • News George Osborne doesn’t accept living standards are falling

    George Osborne doesn’t accept living standards are falling

    Here’s one for the “what was he thinking?” files. George Osborne was interviewed by ITV news about today’s growth figures, yet when Economics Editor Richard Edgar noted that living standards are falling as wages have fallen behind inflation, the Chancellor disagreed with that fact, saying “I don’t accept that.” Here’s Elgar’s tweet: Living standards have fallen since 2010. So why won’t the Chancellor accept that? Is it because it punches a hole in his narrative about the British economy…?

    Read more →
  • Comment Europe Farage has chosen to cosy up with the sort of political party that makes most of us feel sick

    Farage has chosen to cosy up with the sort of political party that makes most of us feel sick

    Why do so many of us go canvassing and door-knocking in the rain? Or give up evenings and weekends for the Labour Party when we could be anywhere else. There’s always a candidate to support or a campaign to be won. But ultimately it’s about more than that – it’s about fighting for our values. We all get into politics to argue for what we think is right and to change our world bit by bit, day by day for […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Scotland What should Scottish Labour do?

    What should Scottish Labour do?

    There is much talk in the Scottish media about a crisis in Scottish Labour. Some of it is of course froth (is the Scottish Daily Mail where we would seek advice in our best interest?). But some of it is substantial – based on the post-poll evidence, anything between 30-40% of Labour voters voted Yes in the referendum. The angst is also heightened by the surge in SNP membership to nearly 80,000, making them the third largest political party in […]

    Read more →
  • Comment For our immigration policy, Labour should forget the Tories and look to Europe

    For our immigration policy, Labour should forget the Tories and look to Europe

    Three quarters want fewer foreigners. Disillusioned voters have flocked to the radical right. The Government and Commission are at war over the free movement of labour. An EU exit is a real possibility. In case you haven’t noticed, immigration is back on the agenda. And that means Labour, to stand a chance of winning in May, must present credible immigration policies to voters over the next seven months – not an easy task considering research has shown immigration may have […]

    Read more →