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Last day of bendies on the 521

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Wednesday 2 September 2009 7.42pm
interject wrote:
Free bus or no free bus, the bendies have to go.
1) They take up too much road space so if they happen to get caught in a jam across a junction, vehicles travelling in the other direction can't get around them, causing double the traffic jam in a city that's already congested.

2) When they pull in to a bus layby there is often no room for other buses to pull in behind them, often causing a back up of other buses in the street, causing further congestion to other traffic and frustrating the buses' passengers who can see their bus in the queue. This is certainly the case at the bus stop in E&C. There is no point in having a bendy bus that is quick for people to get on and off if it delays all the other bus routes.

3) Because of the limited seating and the often crowded nature of the bendies, I find that more aggravation and aggressive behaviour occurs on them as passengers 'get in each others faces' (although, granted, most of my experience is from the bendy services that go through Peckham), and this aggravation often gets out of control because the driver has no idea what's going on at the back of the bus. I've been on a couple of bendy bus journeys on which a full blown brawl has erupted and the driver has driven on oblivious to what's happening behind him.

Replacing the 19 bendy buses with 31 of the non-bendy variety on the 521 route to acheive the same capacity is not going to do a great deal to reduce congestion or reduce exhaust emissions. Great work Boris. I always found the passengers on that bus fine, but then again it was a City route. I avoid buses in inner south London whenever possible due to the issues you mention.
Wednesday 2 September 2009 7.54pm
I wonder how many of the people that don't pay on the bendies didn't get on them in the past when they had to pay. Also, are there more people using the buses, so more paying? It might explain why on paper it doesn't look like a huge increase in fraudulent passengers since the introduction of the bendies. Or do the figures show it?

I do think they should all go. When a normal sized bus blocks the pedestrian crossing you have time to go round the back or front before the green man changes. The alternative would be to have rules for drivers in, but that's not going to happen.
Wednesday 2 September 2009 8.06pm
Auntie Pat wrote:
I used the new 521 today - there are hardly any seats! The bus wasn't very full when I got on but would be an absolute nightmare with 50-odd people straphanging. The one seat designated for disabled people is quite a distance from either door, all the other seats are raised up on steps - no good for people like me.

Caroline Pidgeon AM has picked up this point and tabled a question to Boris Johnson:

The 12-metre single-decker Mercedes Citaro buses you have introduced on the 507 have a huge area for standing passengers and only 21 seats, all but one of which are reached by quite a high step posing a problem for passengers with mobility problems.

Are these “cattle-truck” buses your cunning plan to solve the bendy-bus issue, and do you really think Londoners will thank you for making them travel in these conditions?

Will post the answer when available

Editor of the London SE1 website.
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Wednesday 2 September 2009 9.03pm
the bendy bus is even part of a computer game
Wednesday 2 September 2009 9.15pm
this is a longer version,skip to 6.30 mins.
Wednesday 2 September 2009 9.34pm
For all those calling for the removal of all bendy buses, could you explain a) what you're replace them with and b) how you'd fund this? This is municipal politics, not think-tank-land. Ta.
Wednesday 2 September 2009 10.05pm
Please don't say that the bendy buses cause less traffic jams than their smaller counterparts. If you have ever been behind a bendy one as it joins a slow moving roundabout junction with lights (Lambeth Bridge south side!) you'd have clearly seen the problem. They were designed for cities with much wider streets and huge junctions where the lights were timed to let far more traffic through on each cycle. They are not London friendly. Bring back the Routemaster style bus, with conductors or at least frequent inspectors. I believe this is what Boris wanted too.
Thursday 3 September 2009 10.20am
Finally they are gone. They carry a lot of people sure but anything big would do wouldn't it. The real problem as highlighted by many is that they dont fit on London's streets...that I detect just about everyone agrees on. Lets just be rid of them and focus on how capicity is replaced using a smaller footprint(!!!) bus. Single decker or double...manned with a conducter or not but subject to checks? Routemasters with a "hop on/hop off" facility probably aren't going to make a comeback in this nanny state mentality we now have and TfL wouldn't want to risk being sued senseless either.
Thursday 3 September 2009 10.35am
To be fair to the removal of the routemasters they were terrible for anyone disabled. Atleast with bendy buses you can get on them.

I get the 453 fairly regularly and the greatest problem I thought was the fare dodging. Not that many people have season cards. I've been on a bus when a conductor has appeared and its caused mass panic. Would be interesting to see how much money they actually lose on a bendy bus compared to a normal one.
Thursday 3 September 2009 10.58am
I use a bendy twice a day most days in rush hour motning and evening. Ticket inspections in the last 2 years....once. And when it happened loads of people jumped off as there were only 2 of them. When they do it on the tube...another great rarity but then its so much more difficult to get on in the first place...they have enough to cover a whole carriage...all the doors are covered....apparently every now and again the bus inspectors work with British Transport Police to do something similar but so rarely in my experience. However good you want to assume most people are there are a huge number of fare dodgers on the bendy buses...and everyone knows it.
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