Friday 19 December 2008 6.40pm
£82,000 has been used to reward both professional design firms and youths for engaging in a 21st century transport problem. As we can see here it is not going to be solved overnight. It is money well spent and it is fun.
Also it's a drop in the ocean compared to the millions spent on buying and leasing bendies.
International examples have to be chosen carefully... most American and continental cities have wider and straighter streets - Central London is almost exclusively a medieval street pattern which survived the 1666 Great Fire. No boulevards were built except for Pall Mall/Oxford St/Piccadilly/Regent St, unlike Rome or Paris.
Berlin has wide and straight streets and uses bendy buses except for the more London-sized roads which have double deckers. They have 3 doors and are a bit longer.
. Copenhagen is the same.
Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan - all advanced and dense cities like London - use double-deckers for many routes. There are loads of them in Las Vegas, Chicago, Ontario, Seattle ...
Ultimately Boris was voted in on a clear commitment to 'ban the bendy bus' just like Ken was voted in to do the Congestion Charge. The CC had benefits for zone 1 residents and costs for outer London residents (i.e. voter friendly). Replacing the bendy bus has no obvious costs to anyone and might result in some gainful employment of conductors instead of losing fare revenues on the 'free buses'.