The aim of the new bus project, for those not familiar with the background, is to continue Johnson's grand plan of replacing perfectly good and practical buses (that carry lots of passengers) with smaller ones that look nice from the outside for his core constituency of passing Chelsea Tractor drivers (and pretend journalist Andrew Gilligan, of course).
Anyway, in further developments shocking to those that have lived underground in a bunker for the last 4 and a half years:
- the cost of the scheme is now a pretty jaw-dropping £160 million for 600 buses - or over £75,000 more per bus than existing ones cost the London taxpayer. Oh, and unlike normal buses, London will be unable to sell these on, which means TfL - and not bus operating companies - will have to pay the costs upfront.
- neither the Evening Standard and Taxpayers-and-definitely-not-a-Tory-Party-front-organisation-Alliance have made much of a fuss.
- the cost of having conductors on the bus will mean TfL will have to divert funding from other projects to the tune of £37 million per year to the scheme, on top of other costs.