Tuesday, 8 February 2011

LibDems condemn 207 bus plans

Merlene Emerson, the LibDem hoping to become our new GLA Assembly Member at the 2012 elections, is an angry woman. Or at least she's a very good street politician who has started putting out her views on a range of local themes that do seem to be very in tune with every day life here. You may remember her as our parliamentary candidate during the Battle of the Bush last year.

Her latest beef is with the Mayor's plans to replace the bendy 207 with a double decker resulting in less room for pasengers, which apparently is Boris' plan for the route in his crusade against the hated bendy bus.

Says Merlene:

"Uxbridge Road is already overflowing with cars. The last thing it needs is more buses providing fewer seats. 207 buses already bunch together because of traffic congestion. The situation will only get worse with more double deckers on the route. Double decker buses are also much less accessible than the bendy buses for the disabled and those with buggies. This is a ludicrous solution to an imaginary problem".

Harsh words. But she isn't finished there, she continues:

"In these difficult times and with government cut backs, this is waste of money. A far better use of our GLA levy would be to improve our roads to meet the needs of efficient public transport, like buses."

Quite so - but the problem for any LibDem surely is that the 'government cut backs' she talks about are in fact her own governments, at least in part. And of course the Mayor she claims to "condemn" is in fact her own coalition partner Boris Johnson, as the Mayor gleefully points out at City Hall whenever they criticise him about anything.

And what of the reduction in capacity she is so angry about? It falls, per hour, from 1080 to 1020 - so that's 60 seats spread over the hour. And how many buses per hour? Well that's actually going up from 9 to 12 - so that's 60 divided by 12 which is a sum total of 5 less seats per bus.

So not quite the disaster the headline implies but she does have a point - and well done to her for making it. Nice to see her back.


  1. You seem to think it's not such a disaster? Assuming the route operates 18 hours a day that's 19,224 more polluting diesel buses on the busy roads each year with a reduced capacity of 384,480 seats.
    You can massage the figures both ways!

  2. Or 3,117,312 less seats on the lower deck each year.

    (36 Seats upstairs x 12 buses per hour + the 60 seats reduced capacity) x 18 hours a day x 356 days a year.

  3. The bendy buses are a danger to cyclists. They are too long for our roads. They explode. They are so long that legions of fare dodgers gang up on them at the rear, They are cattle trucks. They are scary places to ride.

    You with your clever statistics should take a ride on one.

    This attention seeking politician doesn't speak for everyone.