I'm going to go for Ken Livingstone on the second question.
Should we expect anything other than duplicitous double-dealing from our politicians?
Actually I don't think that this is necessarily hypocritical. Back in 1999 when Ken was an ordinary Londoner he presumably had an ordinary Londoner's affection for the iconic Routemasters. He expressed this affection in an over-the-top way but this is not to diminsh how genuinely it was held I'm sure. However since being elected and having responsibility for transport in London he has presumably had to give up on "affection" and start making "hard-headed" decisions based on business cases. I have no idea where the pro's and con's of Routemasters V bendy buses lie but I'm guessing from the tough decision he made that Ken clearly believes the Balance lies in the bendy bus camp. If that's the case I'm glad we have a Mayor who makes a tough, correct choice rather than an easy, popular one.
I understand that Routemasters are more fuel efficient than most other buses ... I await the correction on that! Anyhow, as a cyclist I would rather have Routemasters, Bendy Buses are lethal, I don't care how well 'they' claim the drivers are trained, the things are very unpredictable and I've had more near-misses with them than any other type of vehicle.
Good article, Mr Hatts. Rather anti the ghastly dehumanised monster, I thought.
Remember, although by 2015 (2017?) all buses have to be accessible to disabled people, it forgets different sorts of disabilities. A blind person is much better off on a bus with a conductor than on a bus with a ramp that lands on the pavement!