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

26th February, 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):


    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?

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